What hap­pens when you over­train?

Look out for your body’s warn­ing signs, says Rob Kemp

Trail Running (UK) - - Warm- Up -

Over­train­ing is com­mon among en­durance run­ners,” ex­plains Dr An­drew Mur­ray, con­sul­tant in Sport and Ex­er­cise at Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, and Mer­rell brand am­bas­sador. “It usu­ally oc­curs when to­tal vol­ume of run­ning has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly – ei­ther by ne­ces­sity or by train­ing er­ror.” For­tu­nately, over­train­ing symp­toms are gen­er­ally easy to spot, and sim­ple to re­pair.

But in some rare cases they can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences. “I’m sure that over-reach­ing con­trib­uted to me be­ing struck down with Guil­lain-Barré Syn­drome (GBS) last year,” Rory Cole­man, a coach and run­ner who’s com­pleted over 1000 marathons, tells Trail Run­ning. “Train­ing for and rac­ing in ul­tras, in­clud­ing the Marathon des Sables, sent my im­mune sys­tem into over­drive. GBS left me paral­ysed and in con­stant, ag­o­nis­ing pain. To­day I’m on the mend, but the syn­drome is also nick­named ‘Get­ting Bet­ter Slowly’,” says Cole­man. “I’m up and run­ning again, but not fully ‘cured’, and I value re­cov­ery and do all I can to avoid over­train­ing now.”

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