Having been in the fitness and wellness business for a long time in addition to being an Ironman triathlete I have come to understand not only the benefits of being an endurance athlete, but more importantly, the perils and downside of over training. If you are wired to indulge and pursue endurance sports, it’s vital to understand when you have gone beyond your limits and are setting yourself up for real health problems.
Signs of Overtraining
– irritability and mood swings
– immune dysfunction ( frequent colds, bad or worsening allergies, gut issues, joint / soft tissue problems, migraines)
– cognitive impairment ( attention deficit, poor concentration, problems with memory and recall)
– fatigue and lack of energy and drive.
– training through injuries or sickness
- significant changes to training metrics ( HR, HRV, power output, etc.)
– loss of appetite or intense sugar cravings
– excessive muscle soreness
– loss of interest in social activities and when your training takes precedent over work or family obligations
– sexual dysfunction
Strategies to Overcome Over Training
– proper nutrition ( reduced intake of refined sugars, adequate high quality protein for recovery, higher consumption of healthy fats -making sure your ratio of omega 6/ omega 3< 6:1 by adding in more coconut oil, flax seeds, avocado, grass fed beef, wild caught fish, organic full fat dairy)
– take a high quality antioxidant that addresses oxidative stress such as Protandim ( nrf1 and nrf2 pathway activators)
– get blood work done if needed to check for magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin D levels, hormone levels and any pro-inflammatory markers.
– plenty of recovery between hard training sessions. Take time off if needed and come back when your mind and body are rested and refreshed.
– monitor your sleep and mode changes