Last week, I took it as a sign: I opened up my beloved Oxygen magazine and there was an article about overtraining. Then I checked Charlotte's blog (welcome back, we missed you!) and she talked about it. I hate it when you read about the symptoms of some horrible disease and you conclude that you must have that brain tumor, autoimmune disease or STD (kidding!). Well, it was one of those moments: I was overtraining. Again. I overtrained about 2-3 years ago when I was at my lowest weight, and I believe that I pop in and out of overtraining states on an ongoing basis.
I think that this happens because (thankfully) I love to exercise. And if you can't tell from my blog, I get very, very excited about it! I fall head-over-heels in love with a class or a new sport, and I jump head-first into it. I get all the gear for whatever sport it may be (practically had to mortgage the house when it was mountain and road cycling), and I do it so much and so often that I either get injured, bored or both.
Thankfully, I discovered that I am not an exercise addict, in which you need to be about exercising 12+ hours a week. My average hovers at about 7, which I think is plenty!
Here is a link that discusses overtraining from About.com.
Just to summarize some of the signs:
- Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
- Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Sudden drop in performance
- Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
- Decrease in training capacity / intensity
- Moodiness and irritability
- Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
- Decreased appetite
- Increased incidence of injuries.
- A compulsive need to exercise
- Could not get up off the floor during exercise ( I was screaming at my heart rate monitor "C'mon, GET UP!") OR
- Would not go below my lactate threshold, thus burning precious muscle (again, screaming at the poor monitor "C'mon, GO DOWN!") OR
- Would shoot up walking up the stairs at Ikea!Huh?
There is another method called Orthostatic Heart Rate testing where you take your pulse laying down, then you stand up and take it again at intervals for a few minutes. It sounds like I'll be sleeping with my heart rate monitor on my bedside table for a few days to do that test. Perhaps it's a good gauge to see what sort of workout (if any) to do for the day? I like the idea of that.
Photo: One of my favorite past-times when taking time off exercise? Reading about it of course! Do you see my guilty secret on the right in the back? First for Women Magazine- soooo good! Dorky and useful with delish recipes that can be healthi-fied if needed! Look closely: it says "Lose 19 pounds in one week". Talk about optimistic!Q: Have any of you experienced overtraining? How much time did you take off? Did you change the way you trained after that? What's the longest you've gone without training consistently? Have any of you read First? C'mon admit it.