If you look to the side of this page, it says I have a half marathon at the end of the month. I have never run one before and for some reason, I have been freaking out about it since the day I signed up.
When I go running… my mind is all over the place saying things like, “I’ve only gone 6 miles, that’s not even halfway to finishing a half and why am I so tired already?” or “I need to run faster to make my goal time.” or “Why are my legs fatiguing, what is wrong?”
I’m running my half marathon with a group of friends and I don’t want to be the slowest. It’s putting so much pressure on me. However, I know I shouldn’t think like this, I should just try my best and be happy no matter what the outcome. But being the super competitive person that I am… I’ve been going out running; training so hard, trying to improve my times, get stronger… and I believe I have hit a wall.
The sad thing is I’ve come to the point where I don’t want to do it anymore… I still want to run the race, I’m just too tired to train… which lead me to find that I’ve fallen into the overtraining syndrome. I did too much too quickly. My training was having a reverse effect on me. Making me weaker, not stronger.
Here are some symptoms of overtraining:
- Are you finding yourself unable to run as far as you once were running? What was once easy is now a struggle? If yes, then you might be overtraining. If you stop feeling stronger after each run and your not getting quicker or more efficient then you are probably pushing yourself too hard.
- Are you not seeing results? Are you working just as hard as you can and not looking leaner or getting more tone? Well this could be because of overtraining. When you increase your stress level your body is forced to release cortisol into your bloodstream. If this happens too frequently, then a negative testosterone:cortisol balance will be the outcome. All of this will lead to insulin resistance, fat gain and your muscle mass will slowly start to diminish.
- Are you unable to relax or take a day off from the daily grind at the gym or track? Do you find yourself repeatedly pushing yourself that extra mile, to the point of exhaustion? Pushing yourself that hard can lead you to restlessness, the ability to lack focus, poor sleep patterns, etc. Your mind and body will soon become completely fatigued, especially with everything else going on such as school, work, children, money, relationships, and so on.
- Are you feeling sick? Overtraining will weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, nagging coughs, sniffling nose and headaches. Lack of sleep and overtraining are not a good mixture.
- Injury? Are you feeling more muscle strains or more creaks in your bones? Overtraining gives your body less time to recover. Muscles need some time to rebuild after a hard workout. Continuously working them is a recipe for disaster.
Do any of these above sound like they may be happening to you?
Just remember to eat smart, train smart, and sleep smart.