How do I know if I’m over­train­ing?

Trail Running (UK) - - TRAINING Q&A - James Drew, Pre­ston

AYou need to stress your body to im­prove, but there is a fine line be­tween work­ing hard enough and train­ing too hard. “An ex­hausted body and mind can­not re­spond ef­fec­tively to the ev­ery­day stresses you place on them and so you start to suf­fer, both phys­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally,” ex­plains Rachel Sheldrake. Signs of over­train­ing to keep an eye out for are: Feel­ing in­creas­ingly fa­tigued and slug­gish Your run­ning per­for­mance get­ting rapidly worse, de­spite all your train­ing Your legs feel­ing heavy while run­ning An overuse in­jury, such as run­ner’s knee or shin splints Sleep­ing more than usual or in­som­nia creep­ing in Your rest­ing heart rate read­ing as higher than nor­mal in the morn­ings Becoming in­creas­ingly sus­cep­ti­ble to ill­ness, such as in­fec­tions, swollen glands and headaches Los­ing your ap­petite and/ or los­ing weight rapidly. You may have di­ar­rhoea, too If you are a woman, your pe­ri­ods stop­ping Rachel adds: “Psy­cho­log­i­cally, look out for: los­ing your en­thu­si­asm for run­ning; feel­ing more anx­ious or de­pressed than nor­mal; or a re­duc­tion in li­bido.” Th­ese are all signs you might be over­do­ing it. If so, cut back your train­ing, or take a com­plete rest un­til you feel rar­ing to go again.

Cut back, or take a com­plete rest, if you feel you’re push­ing too hard

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