When it comes to training and workouts, I’m sure we’ve heard the mantra “Not every day is race day” a few different ways. Even still, we get sucked into the habit of hammering out every workout we do. Before we know it, we have an injury due to overuse or over training and are sidelined for longer than preferred. So, how do we get it through our thick skulls?
Think about it as you would train for any distance of a race. the goal is to mix up your weekly runs or training workouts so that you can go ALL OUT on race day. Why would we want to tackle every workout we do as if it were a race day?
What is overtraining?
Overtraining can happen our bodies don’t have the chance to experience varied training. Varied training consists of strength training, endurance or cardiovascular training, as well as flexibility training. Each piece of our training compliments the other allowing our bodies to enhance performance while recovering between sessions. If, for example, someone trains ‘too much’ in one area or another it can lead to overtraining syndrome.
As a Peloton lover and HIIT girl at heart, it’s very easy to get caught up in the competition side of training. You see a leaderboard and want to be at the top. You do an AMRAP workout and want to do as many sets as possible.
What can happen when we overtrain?
I’m all about signs. They are a tell-tale way to know something is creeping up when you least expect it. Our minds can be strong but our bodies can tell us a bigger story. Signs of overtraining are:
- Feeling drained, having an unusual lack of energy
- General aches and pains from training aside from typical soreness – especially in joints.
- Performance lacking in workouts.
- An inability to get restful sleep.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Increase sensitivity to virus’ or colds – a lack of immunity.
It’s our job to listen to our bodies while also being proactive with our weekly training regimen to avoid overtraining.
Why do we need varied workouts instead of going H.A.M. on every single one?
Your body needs to recovery to perform. If you hammer every workout = you beat your body up. Mixing up flexibility training, strength training, endurance training, and agility training helps us increase our gains/performance. As I mentioned before, these 3 areas of training compliment one another. We want to take time to not only do high intensity intervals, for example, but also leave time to stretch properly and not do another incredibly high intensity workout back-to-back with that one. Cardiovascular training and agility training are methods that keep our heart healthy and our minds sharp. Doing those kinds of workouts allows our body’s muscles to be more focused in our strength workouts. Slowing down our training builds ‘smarter’ neurological pathways to keep everything in sync with each other. This mixture of training methodology is how to avoid injuries and grow stronger in mind and body.
Aside from mixing up our workouts, recovery is also key. Proper warmup prepares our bodies for movement while our cooldown gets us back to ‘normal’ after one. Stretching and proactive recovery such as icing is a way of taking care of our muscles that work so hard for us during hard intervals of effort.
I am guilty of overtraining in my life. I can think of about 10 different times when I accrued an injury because of my own doing. With each episode of error and with each year I grow older, I see the importance more now than ever of preventing overtraining with my training schedule.
If you follow me on social media, you may probably think I’m the crazy nut that is ALWAYS moving. That’s correct, friend. However, I don’t go HARD in every single workout. I also fuel my body properly so I don’t completely kaput myself.
The goal: Plan like a champ.
Be sure that you get in enough strength training to target big and small muscle groups each week. Add in 2-3 days of cardiovascular work remembering that at least one of those is a push day while the others could be interval or steady pace workouts. Stretch and recovery in between to show your body you love it as much as it loves you to do the work! Save some gas in your tank during workouts where you are using your best source of discipline to be smart so you have all to give in your ‘planned push workouts!’
Are you guilty of overtraining yourself?
What have you learned about workout planning that helps you avoid racing every day?