Der­val O’Rourke


Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside -

THIS week I’m chat­ting about train­ing load, how to recog­nise when you are over­do­ing it and strate­gies to avoid it. For my recipe I’m fo­cus­ing on break­fasts with a sweet and savoury op­tion to suit all tastes.

Bal­ance can be a dif­fi­cult goal to at­tain when it comes to fit­ness. It’s a vague term and has dif­fer­ent mean­ings.

There are those of us who strug­gle to fit ex­er­cise into our daily sched­ule and oth­ers who base their lives around their fit­ness sched­ules. I re­cently spent time in Fin­land and no­ticed just how health con­scious a na­tion it is. In my time there I no­ticed there was a big fo­cus on fit­ness for health as op­posed to fit­ness for aes­thetic pur­poses.

Fin­land is a coun­try that gets 19 hours of sun­light in the sum­mer and they use this time to bike, jog and hike.

Like ev­ery coun­try no doubt there are is­sues in Fin­land just as there are ev­ery­where but I must say I found their ap­proach re­ally re­fresh­ing.

The in­creas­ing use of so­cial me­dia in our ev­ery­day lives has led to the ex­plo­sion of peo­ple shar­ing their fit­ness jour­neys on­line. Loads of this can be good to in­spire us but there is a cer­tain amount of it that just does not seem healthy. There are ac­counts that I look at and their regime is far stricter than any­thing I did pre­par­ing for the Olympic Games.

When the goal is heav­ily based around train­ing sim­ply for aes­thet­ics there is a re­ally big dan­ger of over­do­ing it. I also saw in my pre­vi­ous pro­fes­sion the dan­ger of train­ing towards a lofty goal for push­ing you into the realms of over­train­ing. I over­trained a few times in my ath­let­ics ca­reer and the re­sult was in­jury or ill­ness. It mas­sively ham­pered me.

There are so many in­cred­i­ble ben­e­fits to stay­ing fit and healthy, be mindful of go­ing towards a place where it is no longer healthy.

Signs of over­train­ing

Feel­ing slug­gish and fa­tigued all the time.

Mus­cles be­ing sore and de­vel­op­ment of aches or pains.

Get­ting sick more of­ten and find­ing it dif­fi­cult to re­cover from ill­ness quickly.

Mood and en­thu­si­asm for nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties is low. Dif­fi­culty sleep­ing. Per­for­mance in your cho­sen form of ex­er­cise is de­creas­ing.

For the ma­jor­ity of us aim­ing to hit the rec­om­mended guide­lines (150 min­utes of mod­er­ate aer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity plus two re­sis­tance ses­sions a week) is a much more bal­anced ap­proach to take. Strate­gies to com­bat over­train­ing

View rest days as part of your train­ing. They are there to con­trib­ute to your fit­ness. Put them in your diary and stick to them.

Take time to work stretch­ing and trig­ger point re­lease into your rou­tine. It will make your body feel much bet­ter for the ac­tual train­ing you do.

A key el­e­ment that hap­pens in over­train­ing is un­der-fu­elling. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate what you need to put back into your body af­ter train­ing.

Keep a train­ing jour­nal and reg­u­larly look back on it to mon­i­tor your train­ing load. Write down ev­ery­thing that is ac­tiv­ity, not just the ac­tiv­i­ties you con­sider train­ing. If you walked with the kids for a cou­ple of kilo­me­ters you need to write that in.

Use sleep as a re­cov­ery tool. Iden­tify where you can get a lit­tle ex­tra sleep in the week and make it a pri­or­ity.


Move Train Nour­ish Cook­book

I re­ceived a copy of this book a while back and have to say I am re­ally en­joy­ing it. It’s packed with in­for­ma­tion on train­ing and nu­tri­tion and has lots of work­out and recipe ideas too. Be sure to check out the au­thors @do­minic­munnelly and @oliveoille­mon on­line as well.

Pic­tures: Leah Bar­bour

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