Here’s How To Tell If You’re Overtraining And Need To Chill Out
By Michelle October; photography
Overtraining or slacking? Get some perspective – and get real.
Doing the same round of runs every day and hoping to see results? It’s tricky enough to figure out if what you’re doing is working, especially if you don’t have a trainer, and even trickier to push yourself. But what if you’re training too hard? Taking note of how you feel, particularly your soreness and energy level, is a pretty accurate gauge of how prepared your body is for your next workout, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Use this scale to decide how hard you should push yourself next time…
Your muscles ache
Feeling completely wiped out? Rate your fatigue on a scale. If you’re doing super badly (muscles feel 1 out of 10, and you’re tired enough to nap in your lunch salad) you’re probably overtraining. Take a rest day and if you’re feeling anxious about skipping a workout, prioritise active recovery: walking to get your limbs moving, but not overloading your muscles.
You’re a little stiff and tired
If you have energy for the day, and your muscles don’t make you wince when you walk, you could go for another session tomorrow. Go ahead with your regularly scheduled workout, but pay attention. If a specific move or speed causes discomfort, back off.
You feel fresh
If your’re feeling revived, with zero stiffness, there’s room to toughen up. Amp up your workout – push the pace 20 percent harder or go 20 percent longer during cardio.