Overtraining is a serious issue in today’s sports. Avoid it if you can, but if it does occur, we recommend trying our tips and handling overtraining problems like the pros do.
Why is overtraining so common?
We live in a world where getting rest is not an option – it shows weakness. Our culture is based on the belief that only hard work pays off. People often say that “while you are resting, your opponents are working hard so they can eventually beat you”. This approach was certainly a popular training method many years ago, but now it shouldn’t even be considered – there are multiple studies demonstrating that rest is just as important as work, if not more.
On the other hand, many athletes work harder than they should not because of pressure and high expectations, but because they really love to work. It’s really hard to convince someone whose whole life revolves around a certain sports discipline that constant training will do them no good.
Some athletes learn from their mistakes and start thinking about overtraining only after it happens. We have put together a list of ways you can deal with overtraining.
Take a break!
This is non-negotiable – when you feel that you have pushed your body too hard, you have to stop immediately. You might not even feel any acute pain, but imagine what will happen if you keep pushing. It’s going to get worse and worse – you have to give your body some time to regenerate and rebuild those damaged tissues. Tell your coach what’s going on, don’t be a hero.
Consult a specialist
Some injuries are fine regenerating on their own, but some require help. Either way, it’s always a good idea to visit a physiotherapist. Firstly, they will diagnose your injury so you know what you’re dealing with and how serious it is. Secondly, they will provide you with treatment that will help the tissues regenerate faster. And lastly, they will give you information about the expected convalescence period and give you tips on how you can support this process.
Eating well is a must, because you have to supply your body with the proper fuel to work. Remember though, a rest from training is not an excuse to eat whatever you like. On the contrary! When suffering from overtraining and possibly an injury, you should still eat healthy. Don’t forget about consuming lots of protein, which is the most important nutrient when it comes to tissue regeneration.
Sleep a lot
Nothing helps to regenerate quickly like a good night’s sleep. Blood flows into your muscles, tissues grow, your whole body is relaxed and the proper hormones are released. Sleeping a lot is crucial for every athlete and can help to prevent overtraining problems in the first place. An active athlete should sleep at least 8 hours a day and it’s best to go to bed quite early and wake up early as well. To summarize, you should adapt your sleeping hours to the natural day and night cycle.
Keep on moving
When you notice any symptoms of overtraining, you should stop following your regular training plan. However, your physiotherapist may recommend other types of activities, depending on how overtrained you are and the odds of getting an injury. Maybe stretching will be good for you, or perhaps you should switch from running to swimming because it’s not so overwhelming for your joints? There are many possibilities to stay in shape.
Bear in mind
It’s better not to suffer from overtraining than having to deal with it. A thought-out routine of trainings and monitoring effort of the team is a good way to avoid overtraining. Sonda Sports GPS tracking system helps teams to work only within reasonable limits, so they don’t have to worry about the overtraining at all.