Overtraining syndrome occurs when you are just doing too much. If is often caused by excessive high-intensity training with insufficient rest periods. This results in feelings of constant tiredness, reduced performance, neural and hormonal changes, mood swings and frequently poor health. Here we explain the signs and causes of overtraining.
What is overtraining syndrome?
Overtraining syndrome is the result of overtraining! It is a neuroendocrine disorder (meaning it affects nerves and hormones). It has sometimes previously been termed ‘burnout’ and ‘staleness’.
Overload and training
The principle of overload must be applied to any training program if you are to improve. This means applying increasing loads of whatever your chosen sport or training activity is. However, this is only true if you allow adequate rest and recovery.
You are not training when you train, you are training when you train and allow your body to recover and grow back stronger.
When too little rest is allowed, the benefits of training are reduced or even completely diminished. As a result, performance suffers.
Catching it early
If you notice your performance is static, or you are getting worse then you might be overtraining. If you act early, you will recover early. Resting for 1-2 weeks should make any feelings of fatigue and other symptoms disappear. Then you can return to full training with the incorporation of plenty of rest.
If you don’t recognise overtraining
However, when performance starts to suffer, some athletes start to train even harder in an attempt to improve. This leads to further impairment of results, more increases in training and so on. This is a vicious cycle of poor performance and increased training.