Wikipedia says, “Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.”
I mentioned last week that I was concerned I was getting burnt out and how I was needing to use counting meditations as a way to get through even what should be easy runs. Before I started half marathon training, I was running about 3-4 times a week, roughly around 10-12 miles per week. Starting training did not really change that. My first week of training I ran 4 times or 12.3 miles. I’ve slacked off a bit since then. Last week I ran 3 times, or 10 miles. So it’s hard for me to believe that I’m overtraining, when I haven’t been doing anything differently, and especially since my mileage hasn’t even started to climb.
Yet I never feel recovered on my runs anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve been to four concerts in the last week, all of which I spent several hours standing. Plus October is busy wedding season. All I know is that my legs feel tired. All. The. Time. When I got done with a two mile run yesterday (that I walked part of), I nearly collapsed because my legs ached so bad. Stretching and foam rolling helped some, but I really don’t think I’ll be ready to run again tomorrow.
My half training looks like this (though the days can vary depending on my schedule):
First run (typically Tuesdays): 3-5 miles [currently at 3.5 miles]
Second run (typically Wednesdays): 2-3 miles [currently at 2 miles]
Third run (typically Fridays): 3-5 miles [currently at 3.5 miles]
Long run (typically Sundays): 3-14 miles [currently at 4.5 miles]
The long run is the most important, obviously, because it’s what increases my endurance to be able to last for 13.1 miles. I’m thinking of turning the week’s short run (the second run) into speed work. Those two being my hard workouts of the week, that means the two medium runs between them should be recovery runs. My current thought process is those are the ones I should skip if I don’t feel totally recovered when it’s time to do them. And at any time in any run if I’m feeling as achy as I felt during yesterday’s run, giving myself permission to stop. Overtraining will only lead to injury, and I definitely don’t want to be there again.
Who else has had to combat overtraining?