Are you training harder than ever but getting slower and weaker? Maybe it’s time you looked at a very important concept when it comes to training. This concept is overtraining and could potentially be a serious problem when it comes to performance and your adaptation to training. If you do not let the body adapt to the training stimulus, then the training is not aiding in performance but actually hindering it.
Overtraining is caused by too great of a training load without enough recovery and can be influenced by other training and non-training stressors (Fry, Morton, and Keast 32-65).Overtraining can be achieved through unplanned training programs, insufficient rest between exercise, or too much of a training stimulus for a detrained individual. If you run a tight program and the training is in order, it is important to be aware of the non-training stressors that might also push you in to a state of overtraining:
- Insufficient or poor quality sleep (varies between athletes)
- Poor diet
Knowing what overtraining is and how it happens can be very important to a coach, but it is even more important to know how to identify it. When overtraining occurs, the athlete most likely won’t know it and they won’t have a sign around their neck to display overtraining either. Understanding the signs of overtraining is vital:
- Ventilatory and cardiac efficiency
- Suppression of the immune system
- Indicators of muscle damage
- Depressed muscle glycogen reserves
- A depressed psychological profile
- Poor performance in sport specific tests (Fry, Morton, and Keast 32-65)
As coaches we need to be aware of outside non-training stressors and also be aware of the signs of overtraining so we can step in and not let the silent killer of high athletic performance affect our athletes.
Fry, RW, AR Morton, and D Keast. “Overtraining in athletes. An update..” Sports Medicine(Auckland,N.Z.). 12.1 (1991): 32-65. Print.