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Are you overtraining?

Have you ever been told that you should take it easy because you don’t want to over do it?  Don’t push yourself too hard because you don’t want to be over training.

Well firstly, if you wish to accomplish anything in life you have to sometimes “over do it” and secondly, there is no such thing as over training, only under recovering.

There are ultra marathon runners that compete in events that require them to run over 100miles.  There are body builders that may train over 3 hours per day to prep for a show.

These people also have full time jobs and do this as a hobby but yet they don’t believe they are over training.

What are some of the signs that you are not recovering properly:

  • Suppressed appetite
  • Stress
  • Anxiety 
  • Insomnia 
  • Fatigue 
  • Lowered mood
  • Decrease in performance

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms then you need to take a look as what you are doing to recover.  Some of the main things you should be doing include:

  • Eating enough food
  • Drinking enough water 
  • Getting enough quality sleep
  • Lowering your caffeine intake
  • Mobility and stretching
  • Massage/Chiropractic/physiotherapy
  • Meditation 
  • Periodising your training intensity 

Eating enough food

Eating enough food also includes eating the right type of foods.  Your body is going to require sufficient nutrients both macro (Protein, Carbs & Fats) as well as micro (Vitamins & Minerals) to hep you recover optimally.

Drinking enough water

For every kilogram of body weight you should be looking to drink 30-40ml of water per day as your minimum requirement.  This will obviously be higher if you are training hard.

Getting enough quality sleep

You should be looking at aiming for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.  Follow a sleep schedule and go to bed and rise in the morning at the same time.

Naps are also great if you have the luxury of fitting them in.

Lowering your caffeine intake 

Caffeine is a stimulant and can increase sympathetic nervous system activity.  This means your body is in ‘fight or flight mode” instead of “rest and digest” which is where the recovery happens.

Allow yourself to have some caffeine free days.

Mobility and stretching 

Spend some time using a foam roller doing some self myofascial release or get out the old yoga mat and have a stretch.

This will improve your range of motion and help to decrease the risk of injury.  It will also improve blood flow to the muscle which will aid in your recovery.

Massage/Chiropractic/physiotherapy

Seeing a professional on a regular basis can also help to prevent the risk of injury and aid in recovery.  There are also the mental benefits associated with getting a massage which can be great.

Meditation 

Meditation can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) which can help reduce the bodies cortisol (stress hormone) levels. It will help to slow down your breathing, reduce your blood pressure and relax your muscles.

Periodising your training intensity 

As much as it would be nice to train at 100% intensity all of the time your body can’t keep up.  Eventually you will fry your central nervous system and fatigue will set it.

To avoid this we have to be smart about our training.  Program in de-loads that have you working well under your maximum capacity.  This is help to avoid fatigue but also injury.

Adopt these recovery methods and you will find that you will be able to continue training for as long as you like.

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