Don’t over do it!

To do your best you need to work hard. That’s what you were told growing up right? When it comes to training there is such a thing as working TOO hard.

Everyone’s done it, so don’t be ashamed. I’m having one of those days right now. I feel really motivated to go out and get in an additional run even though I’m scheduled to take today off. I’m sure a short easy run tonight wouldn’t kill me, so I’m going to keep it in the back of my mind until I get off work.
What’s the difference between “Over Training” and “Recovery Runs”?
According to Wikipedia – Overtraining is a physical, behavioral and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness. Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes.
Well’ thats something I’d like to avoid. But what about recovery runs?

“Recovery workouts… are performed entirely in a fatigued state, and therefore also boost fitness despite being shorter and/or slower than key workouts.” gave these tips regarding Recovery Runs.

  • Recovery runs are only necessary if you run four times a week or more.

    • If you run just three times per week, each run should be a “key workout” followed by a day off.

    • If you run four times a week, your first three runs should be key workouts and your fourth run only needs to be a recovery run if it is done the day after a key workout instead of the day after a rest day.

    • If you run five times a week, at least one run should be a recovery run.

    • If you run six or more times a week, at least two runs should be recovery runs.

  • There’s seldom a need to insert two easy runs between hard runs, and it’s seldom advisable to do two consecutive hard runs within 24 hours.

  • Recovery runs are largely unnecessary during base training, when most of your workouts are moderate in both intensity and duration. When you begin doing formal high-intensity workouts and exhaustive long runs, it’s time to begin doing recovery runs in roughly a 1:1 ratio with these key workouts.

  • There are no absolute rules governing the appropriate duration and pace of recovery runs.
And if you are worried about over training, here are some signs and symptoms.

  • Movement coordination symptoms:
    • Increased incidence of disturbances in movement (the re-appearance of faults that seemed to have been overcome, cramp, inhibitions, insecurity)
    • Disturbances in rhythm and flow of movement
    • Lack of ability to concentrate
    • Reduced power of differentiation and correction
  • Condition symptoms:
    • Diminished powers of endurance, strength, speed. Increase in recovery time, loss of ‘sparkle’ (competitive qualities)
    • Reduced readiness for action, fear of competition, giving-up in face of difficult situations, especially at the finish
    • Confusion in competition, departure from usual tactics
    • Susceptibility to demoralising influences before and during competition
    • Increasing tendency to abandon the struggle
  • Psychological symptoms:
    • Increased irritability, obstinacy, tendency to hysteria, grumbling, defiance, increased quarrelsomeness, avoidance of contact with coach and colleagues
    • Over sensitivity to criticism, or increasing indolence, poor incentive, dullness, hallucination, anxiety, depression, melancholy, insecurity
    As for me, I think I will try to get a light run in tonight!

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