Over training is a rather usual problem among athletes. Let us understand why in this article.
The physiological homeostasis of an overtrained athlete becomes disturbed. Regulatory mechanisms of the body after overtraining cannot return to the original balance in just one or two days.
At first, the symptoms of overtraining can be mild, and if the athlete gets enough rest, his body does recover fully. Later, after prolonged overtraining, these symptoms may become more severe. Exhaustion is typical for experienced endurance athletes, and they are used to it. These states can also be induced by mental, social, economical, and environmental stress. These factors together with strenuous physical training can cause stress that can lead to adverse effects.
Stress can be caused by negative psychological factors. These may be e.g. a change in residence, school or job, a change in social and recreational habits, financial problems, divorce, trouble at school, trouble with the law, a death in the family etc.
Reasons for Stress
Physiological factors can cause stress as well. These factors may be travel, insomnia, illness, injury, menstrual cycle, pregnancy etc.
Highly motivated athletes have to take care to balance their training and their personal lives. Adequate rest is also crucial. If the recovery time after exercises is less, after a few days or weeks symptoms of overtraining will start to show. Performance also drops. As a result, recovery may take weeks or months.
Signs and symptoms of overtraining vary from athlete to athlete. The symptoms and signs are due to changes in the function of the autonomic nervous system, hormonal status, immunological parameters and other physiological and musculoskeletal changes of the body. Typically, an athlete feels tiredness and fatigue and notices a drop or stagnation in performance despite continuing training.
Examples of psychological and psychosomatic overtraining signs and symptoms:
* Depression, fatigue, irritability, bad mood, anxiousness, confusion, excitement, desperation, lack of concentration
* Unwillingness to train
* Feeling of inability to go on with the workout
* Sleeping problems
* Bad appetite
* Shaking hands
* Abnormal sweating
Examples of physiological overtraining signs and symptoms:
* Increased resting and sub maximal heart rate (resting heart rate can also decrease in overtraining state)
* Muscle soreness
* Menstrual irregularities
* Decreased performance
* Loss of strength
* Falling ill frequently
* Loss of coordination
Hence, it is very important to take appropriate rest between workouts. Studies have showed that athletes build muscle faster if there is appropriate rest of a day or two between strenuous workouts. It is recommended to train for a maximum of 6 days in a week, and no less than 4 days in a week. Remember, rest is as important as the workout itself.