Symptoms of Overtraining and How to Prevent It

Pushing yourself in practice is the expectation when you're training to win. That said, there's a difference between pushing yourself and overdoing it. The latter can make it increasingly more difficult for your body to recover after each session, leaving a host of impacts on upcoming training sessions and on your daily life.
So, how can you tell when you're overtraining? And, what can you do to address it or avoid it entirely? Read on for the signs of overtraining and what you can do to prevent it to ensure you're healthy and prepared for your next competition.
The Symptoms of Overtraining
  • General fatigue for longer periods 
  • Feeling on edge or experiencing mood swings 
  • Lack of sleep, or a lack of quality sleep
  • Low motivation and energy levels
  • Poor recovery after workouts and heavy muscle fatigue 
  • Repetitive strain or impact injuries
How to Prevent It
1. Aim for essential workouts, not long workouts 
Get in what you absolutely need. Now is not the time for four to six-hour training sessions every weekday; you'll risk injuries that'll leave you sidelined for much longer than if you were to simply reduce your training load for a week.
2. Make some adjustments to your lifestyle
This means adding active rest days, improving your sleeping habits and getting more sleep, and making dietary changes so you're eating the right foods. These lifestyle adjustments will help your body recover.  
3. Adjust your training schedule
Change your training plans based on muscle soreness and fatigue. Don't keep pushing for new PBs when you're body's telling you it needs rest.
You may also want to talk to your coach about temporarily reducing your training days. It's better to have three or four solid training sessions a week than six workouts where you're only able to give half the effort because your body can't keep up.
Monitoring yourself for these signs will help you identify when you're overtraining and catch it early enough to make changes so that it doesn't have dramatic impacts on your athletic performance. Adjusting your training schedule, making a short-term reduction in the number of practice hours you put in, and making lifestyle changes will help prevent you from overtraining.
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