Am I overtraining?

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?

Week of 9/23/13 – 9/29/13: WDW Half Training, Week 2

week of 9/23/13 to 9/29/13
I’m not even going to pretend like this was a good week. I was supposed to run a total of 12.5 miles, and I ended up coming up 5 miles short (and probably only half of my mileage was actual running).

My first run was supposed to be on Tuesday before I got on a plane to head back to Nashville from Seattle. But I woke up not feeling it and chose to spend my last few hours hanging out with my friends and packing.

Wednesday I spent the day in Atlanta, so there was no time for making up Tuesday’s run.

On Thursday I was supposed to do two miles, but I went climbing instead. (Yay, crosstraining! That counts for something, right?)

Although my head wasn’t into it, I was going to make up those two miles on Friday. (I may have been trying to make up excuses about my arms being sore, but those don’t work for running). However, I got stuck in traffic and didn’t get home until after sunset, so no excuse necessary. (I really need to start my gym membership.) So I got a pizza and slothed around instead.

On Saturday, despite being completely sore from climbing on Thursday (legs included this time), I did head out to do my 4.5 mile long run. When I found myself walking less than half a mile in, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good run. I had been short on sleep the whole week, so I slept in instead of getting up early when it was cooler. So it was 85 or so by the time I got out there. Big mistake. My legs were stiff and sore. And my head was playing mental games the whole time. I forced myself to do the whole 4.5 miles, but I did walk a great deal of it. And I didn’t enjoy it.

Sunday was the Zombie Run. I was doing it with my friends Lauren and Chris, neither of whom run, so I suspected I’d be walking a bit. And we did. A lot of it was either slow jogging next to them while they were walking, sprinting through the zombies and then waiting on them, or coaxing them to run the downhills. If it had been a timed event, I would have just ran on my own pace, but it was a fun run, so I stuck with them…well, mostly. I did take off the last half mile (although, most of that was spent dodging all the walkers…and by walkers, I mean non-runners, not zombies). I’ll have a full recap of the event up soon!

Am I burnt out on running, two weeks into half marathon training?