Overtraining…myth or reality?

I know, I know, the professionals in the room are screaming reality.  I don’t disagree.  What I am really asking I guess is when we ignore the signs of overtraining, (and our body’s do a good job of telling us to back off),  is it ignorance of what the warning signs are, or simply willful pride?  I can tell you from my experience it’s both.  (By the way, I weighed in at 211.5 this morning, 10 lbs off my goal for today’s date, but anyway).

In my youthful exuberance, during my peak body building days I can remember never worrying about over training.  We ate chicken by the flock, rice by the pound, and lifted 4+ hours a day.  Then we figured out how to work in classes and a job.  Most of us ended up being bouncers because it seemed to be the only job conducive to our lifestyles, and skipping class.  Pain was a sign of weakness.  I never thought about overtraining until a joint physically came unhinged or a tendon snapped and hit me in the face (almost a true statement).   We worked through all the aches, pains, sprains finding a gym “expert” to guide us to the right GNC supplement to cure our ailments…which was never, “rest”.

Fast forward 25 years (insert eerie Dr. Who time travel music here).  43 years old and I am paranoid about becoming injured and missing a race.  My run this morning was totally preoccupied with a weird twinge in my right calf.  I’ve always had big calves, never worked them out so I never gave them any thought.  Today I thought, “No big deal” my calves are practically invincible.  And on with my run I went.  It was only later that I thought, “How stupid was I?”  I could be nothing but it could be something and now my age old wisdom tells me not to wait for my knee to unhinge or Achilles to smack me in the face.

Point being, we are all engaging in a pretty intense, albeit, awesome sporting event, intense never the less.  And to do that, I just want to encourage all, especially those just starting out to pay attention to what your body is telling you.  Rest is our friend, trust me.  A few days of modified workouts or rest is way better than six months of no activity because your hamstring disengaged somewhere on a wooded trail and you had to crawl home…wait that sounds like a cool obstacle…I digress.

Take heed, the human body is an awesome thing and can do amazing things, but you need to cooperate with it.  It will take control and shut you down if you fail to respect its warning signs.       


Previously Fat Guy

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  • Great read!! I over-trained last year and had to humbly walk 2 OCR’s — okay, so both were on the same day — but still had to walk them both. I didn’t build up slow enough to my crazy training and trained the night before races (no, Hurricane Heats don’t count as training). Anyway, I learned my lesson after living in KT Tape and no races for around 6 weeks. I listen to my body now and rest, stretch or walk when it needs a break.

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