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It’s not uncommon to hear people wanting to get better at a sport. So you think that training harder and more will be the answer. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Too much training can result in over-training.

Overtraining is a long-term decrease in performance capacity in response to a large accumulation of training and non-training related stress. To put It simply, it is the failure of the body to manage fatigue.

There is no test to diagnose over-training, and it is individualised to each athlete. What happens to one athlete when they overtrain can be completely different to another. However, the 2 symptoms which occur in all cases are a drop in performance capacity and fatigue.

Some of the other symptoms may include:
Muscle and joint pain
Lack of energy, feeling tired and drained
Decrease in training capacity
Restless sleep and/or insomnia
Loss of appetite
Psychological stress, such as anxiety or depression
Frequently getting sick

Overtraining vs overreaching

Overreaching and overtraining can often be confused. We discussed overtraining above, so now let’s discuss over-reaching.

Over-reaching, or sometimes known as concentrated loading, is a PLANNED accumulation of training which results in a short-term reduction in performance capacity. Overreaching is actually needed to see improvements in performance over time, but it must be carefully planned and monitored. A program which includes over-reaching for periods which are too long can lead to the effects of over-training. Over-reaching needs to be planned and incorporated into your program by a qualified and experienced coach.

So how can we avoid overtraining?

The main thing you should be doing is monitoring your training, fatigue and other factors including mood, appetite and sleep patterns. Proper periodization of your program is also essential.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. Do not delay seeing a doctor if you think you have a medical problem or injury.
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