Are You Running Too Much?
Posted on 01 Sep, 2014
Many runners will claim that there is no such thing as running too much. Unfortunately, there is, and the impact can be adverse.
In a nutshell, over-running occurs when your body has not caught up to the ongoing demands placed upon it. And when this occurs over a long period, your hard work can eventually backfire, causing your running and your quality of life to suffer. While symptoms of over-running are not as glaring as say a stress fracture, there are a handful of tell tale signs you can look out for.
1.You're Moody All The Time
Physiologically, over-running can lead to a decrease in cathecolamine excretion in your body, a hormone that influences the sympathetic nervous system. This could lead to intense mood swings, tenseness and even depression.
There's nothing as sweet as rest that is earned. Unfortunately, over-running interferes with the bodies circadian rhythms. You may find yourself waking up earlier than usual, or have trouble getting or staying asleep, throwing you into a much deeper valley of fatigue.
3. Your Legs Feel Like Lead
After an intense run, your muscles usually experience millions of micro tears. In an effort to repair and rebuild the muscle damage, the muscle fills with water to flush out the by-products of exercise. This swelling can add to the heaviness you feel in your legs.
4. You Are Sidelined By Illness More Than Usual
Overtraining impairs the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to contracting colds, the flu, and other viruses. Persistent and recurring illness should alert you to the possibility that you're overtraining.
5. Change In Outlook
Over-running can affect you psychologically as well. A common symptom would be a loss of enthusiasm for the sport altogether. Workouts become a chore, not something you looked forward to like before. And this loss of enthusiasm may even carry over to other activities as well. Some irritability after a period of hard training is normal. But a change in disposition shouldn't last more than a day or two.
6. You've got nagging aches, pains, or injuries
When the rate at which you are training exceeds the rate of repair and protein synthesis your body can handle, it will have problems rebounding to its full strength.
Aches and pains are common among runners, but if your muscles are sore and you feel tightness and stiffness in the joints for an extended period, even with light exercise, you are probably over-running.
Many of us have had days when we could just run off an ache. But for a runner who has over-trained, the muscles remain lethargic and heavy regardless of the length of your warm-up.
7. Other numerous things
Other common symptoms of over-running include decreased libido, increased resting heart rate (four to six beats above your baseline) and persistent lethargy. Your eating habits could also get disrupted or compromised.
Runners are a passionate bunch, and we often get carried away by our passion. We are notorious for raising the bar for ourselves even before we have reached it, often forgetting that we get stronger not merely by grinding it out, but by eating right and getting fully rested