People who are very physically active sometimes cross the line
between sufficient training and too much training. Overtraining usually occurs when
the body does not have enough time to recover from the stress of intense
Signs of overtraining include the following:
You constantly feel tired or
You cannot make further fitness gains or you actually
move backward in your level of fitness.
You suddenly lose
Your resting heart rate increases 5 beats per
You have lost your enthusiasm for exercising.
You feel irritable, angry, or depressed.
Treatment for overtraining requires that you cut back on training or
stop altogether for 1 to 2 weeks. In extreme cases, a month or more of rest may
be needed. It can be very difficult for a person for whom training is a way of
life to believe that they have overtrained and need rest. It is more effective
to prevent overtraining in the first place.
To prevent overtraining:
Try to recognize when your body has reached its
own training limits and allow yourself recovery time. Overtraining isn't just
"overdoing it." It is a pattern of overdoing it too many times.
Follow guidelines for training schedules as they apply to your
kind of activity. To get ideas on training for your activity, talk to an athletic trainer or coach.
Share your training schedule with others who
train at your level or with a specialized coach or trainer. Ask them if it
If a coach expects you to follow a training
schedule that is not realistic for you, talk to your coach about your concerns.
Your coach should want your best performance, and that can't happen if you
If you find yourself thinking about your training all
the time or becoming obsessive about it, take a short break from your schedule.
If you don't want to stop all activity, try cross-training or take up some new
physical activity for a few days or weeks.