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Let’s Talk Overtraining

Even though I am a morning person, you should know it is getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. It is cold and dark and my bed is so warm and inviting. It is a cruel world I tell you.

It doesn’t take me long though to adjust to being awake. I mean, look at what I have to look forward to:

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Oh, you noticed I managed the perfect flip of the pancake, didn’t you…

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I was so excited about my pancake flipping that I just had to share it with you! It is the little things in life that excite me.

Yesterday we briefly touched on overtraining. The whole fine line between pushing yourself and overtraining is a slippery slope. I try really hard not to repeat what so many other blogs have already said but overtraining is a serious topic and not something we can go without talking about a bit more in-depth.

Quick signs you may be overtraining:

  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Increased illness
  • Normal running pace is much slower than usual and stays slower for several runs
  • Slower muscle recovery, increased soreness, muscle fatigue lasting longer than normal
  • Irritability
  • Loss of desire to exercise
  • Shin Splints
  • Stress Fractures
  • Amenorrhea

You should know that I just rattled off the above list  because the signs and symptoms of overtraining are embedded in my brain from constantly reading up on this topic.

Why do I read about it? Well, to be honest, it is something I worry about. It is something I often think I am hovering on the border of even though, knock on wood, I am RARELY sick, RARELY injured and don’t have a majority of the symptoms.

But really, are we supposed to wait until we experience ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS? Are we supposed to run ourselves literally into the ground before we realize it is a time to take a rest?

Symptoms or no symptoms, you know when you are doing too much. You know when something is just “off” and really, if you are googling overtraining, you already know you are overtraining and need a rest day.

I gave some thought about why it is I don’t allow myself enough rest and wanted to share with you what I came up with:

I am a creature of habit. Wake up, drink coffee, (flip a pancake), blog, brush teeth, run, get on with the day….

When something in my routine is missing, I feel off. Wrong. Not OK.

My morning run gets my blood flowing, energy levels boosted for the day and is my best brainstorming time.

My mind is free to wander, free to organize, free to think about whatever it wants. I really get my best thinking done while running and since I write every day, this is a huge positive.

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But, as much as the mind craves it, the body needs a break. The muscles need time to recover in order to grow and support further workouts. Not giving yourself a full break only sets you up for a slew of problems…and dare we say…a possibly injury.

I know all of this yet more often than not, I push it all into the back of my mind.

Sure, there are easily two days each week where my workouts are light, but what my body needs, and all of our bodies need, is a day where we don’t put on our sports bras, don’t work up a sweat and just get on with our day like most of society.

Funny how I say “most of society”. The media, the government, the FDA, the marketers behind every diet and exercise product as well as all of the social media platforms are all pushing society to exercise more and eat less.

It is important to understand that sometimes exercising less and eating more are what YOU need.

Easier said than done. People who don’t exercise don’t understand. Nonrunners even don’t understand.

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This totally cracked me up. Even though I have never run the 26.2, I do have the 13.1 proudly displayed on my car.

Here is another interesting thing I realized: Running isn’t about the calorie burn for me. Sure, it is nice, it keeps me lean and able to basically indulge whenever I want.

But, when it comes to running and food, I get more excited about how my food tastes after I run.

You too?

I swear, oatmeal is that much creamier, peanut butter is that much more dreamier, yogurt is sweeter, pizza is cheesier (or wait, maybe that depends on the pizza place?)…I don’t know what it is, maybe my taste buds are simply heightened but whatever comes into contact with those taste buds in the hours following a good run just tastes that much better.

But what would happen if one day a week my routine was off? What if I didn’t have a major brainstorm or for one day my peanut butter simply tasted amazing instead of heavenly?  Is that so terrible?

A while back, I used to treat myself to a special cup of coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts on my rest days. I found it to be a treat and something to look forward to for the mornings that I didn’t run. Sort of like a filler in the slot of my routine.

I need to bring Rest Day Coffee Day back, don’t you think?

Related links of interest:

Are You Running Too Much?

Know The Signs of Unhealthy Exercise Addiction

 

 

 

 

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Liz @ I Heart Vegetables November 14, 2013, 7:14 am

    I’ve definitely relaxed a lot in terms of when I work out. I used to HAVE to get in some kind of workout everyday. Now I usually workout 5-ish days a week. Sometimes they’re just a short video in the living room. It keeps me active, and happy, without being on a strict schedule!

    • WordPress.com Support November 14, 2013, 7:58 am

      Why was I never able to do a workout video at home? I never could get into it and now think about the online videos. Note the word “think” – I never actually do it, just think about it.

  • Lauren @Will Run for Boston November 14, 2013, 6:16 pm

    You should definitely bring back Rest Day Coffee Day! On my rest day I usually go to Panera in the morning and get a bagel and cappuccino! Its one of my favorite things about rest day!