Wednesday, 31 July 2013 07:56

Training: Overtraining Syndrome by Cindy Stonesmith

Adventure running season is upon us! With the snow melting in the mountains, the warm summer weather and racing season in full swing it’s easy to get caught up in running and racing too much. Following a well designed training and racing plan is imperative for longevity in the world of Ultra Running. But if you do find yourself lacking in enthusiasm and energy this summer it may be time to take a step back and listen to your body’s signals.  Here are fifteen common warning signs and symptoms of 0vertraining Syndrome:

1. Heart rate is high in relation to exercise effort or pace.

2. Washed-out feeling, tired and drained, lack of energy.

3. Ongoing mild leg soreness, general aches and pains.

4. Pain in muscles and joints.

5. Sudden drop in performance.

6. Insomnia.

7. Frequent headaches.

8. Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats).

9. Decrease in training capacity and intensity.

10. Moodiness and irritability.

11. Depression.

12. Loss of enthusiasm for the sport.

13. Decreased appetite and weight loss.

14. Increased incidence of injuries.

15. A compulsive need to exercise.

If you are experiencing 5 or more of these symptoms daily you need to take a step back and start a recovery plan. Do these ten things to get back on track. This may take 1-2 months of diligent recovery before you’re feeling like your old self.

1. A trip to the Doctor for a full blood panel and physical. Be sure to check Iron, Vit D, Calcium and thyroid levels – all play a major role in training and performance.

2. Go to bed early. Do not set your alarm. Allow your body to wake up naturally and get as much sleep as possible.

4. Keep all your runs to 1hr or less. Keep effort easy, with Heart Rate Zone 1-2, easy conversational pace.

5. Do not time trial or race any runs. Racing will fire you up and deplete you mentally. As athletes we all need a non-competitive season in our yearly calendar to rejuvenate mentally and replenish physically.

6. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Yes even Advil and Tylenol. Dependency on NSAIDS can have detrimental lasting effects to your health.

7. Eat nutritionally dense meals. Avoid refined and packaged foods and add super foods to diet.

8. Don’t skip meals. Have 3+ well balanced meals a day that include a mixture of Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate. Eliminating a macro food group out of your diet is risky and will often lead to micro nutrient deficiency.

9. Drink your weight in Kg in water daily. ie Body wt of 55kg= 55oz of water daily. Then add 12-16oz for every hour of exercise.

10. Schedule a regular monthly massage! Getting regular bodywork can help reset your stress levels back to normal, and increase your blood and nutrient flow to major organs and muscles.

Cindy Stonesmith CMT ACSM/HFS
Owner and Endurance Running Coach