Overtraining is a very real – and alarmingly common – habit that can cause serious setbacks if you aren’t careful. It can happen to someone new to fitness or sports simply because they aren’t as well versed with what their body can handle yet – totally understandable. Trainers working with new clients need to be sure the work loads are gradually increased, allowing the client to work up to higher volume / frequency. Without some guidance, a newbie may do a little too much too soon, landing them in a frustrated, overly exhausted, and often discouraged state.
But the truth of it is, it can happen to ALL of us. As a trained athlete I can safely say that we (those of us used to physically demanding routines) still fall victim to overtraining as much as the next person. Possibly even MORE!
Despite that we *should* know better, we tend to push to the point of failure a far too frequent basis sometimes. Sure, we know we need rest days. We also know a week off can sometimes be exactly what our body needs…much to the chagrin of the mind. But we don’t always apply that sound advice to ourselves.
I do a lot of Martial Arts classes during the week – it used to only be three or four. Now I’m doing four in one Art (Ninjutsu) AND four in another (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu) every week. I haven’t totally tapered off with my three-times-a-week cardio and several days of weightlifting, mind you…so it’s catching up.
The last two weeks have been EXHAUSTING. On top of it, I turned 38. For me “age is a number”…generally speaking. It always HAS been “just a number.” This morning, though, after a few weeks of feeling off my game, and physically sore and exhausted? 38 felt ancient…and distressing!
Up front, it’s an overwhelming sensation of feeling like I’m slowing down – like my body can’t keep up, and that my mind doesn’t even want to. For a person who can usually push through and stay positive, that’s a tough mental place to find myself in – no motivation AND physical exhaustion. Ugh.
When I take a step back it’s so much easier to weed things out. Is it really allergies? I mean, there’s pollen in the air more so now but. . .body soreness? Nice excuse. It’s NOT allergies.
Could it be a virus? Sure, they’re going around…I may have caught a little something. But WHY? That’s the question.
I don’t get sick often, or even much at all. . .the only conditions under which I do are – BINGO! – when I’m physically sub-par. Too much at one time will absolutely wear you thin, not only causing fatigue, soreness and depressed emotions, but also a weakened immune system. Running yourself into the ground is like posting a sign “viruses and colds, welcome.”
The topic is an easy one to get into…and to write at length about. I appreciate that there are so many articles out there, because sometimes we all need a little bit of a reminder to reevaluate. Your exhaustion and “not feeling like it” certainly might be chalked up to “one of those days.” But it’s important to know when it’s something MORE than that. Learn the difference, and check back if you feel like you might be crossing the line.
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