I am continually getting the question, “what is the overtrained state, or what does overtrained mean?”  So let’s revisit some key components, symptoms, and treatment.

Entering this state is often precipitated by continually high volume and or intensity without adequate rest, and includes performance decline with other typical stress-related psychological, psychosomatic, and physiological symptoms and signs that can be graded from mild to severe. Mild forms include psychological and psychosomatic symptoms (e.g., anger, fatigue, tension, loss of appetite, lethargy, or sexual unwillingness), some short-term sleep problems, and muscle fatigue. It can also include immune system and or hormonal disturbances such as upper respiratory infections and menstrual irregularities. Severe forms include symptoms such as depression, severe long-term insomnia, and long-term muscle soreness. If any of this sounds familiar or commonplace, you need to take a step back and seriously analyze what you’re doing while you take the next 2-3 days off. If you conclude that you’re at the more chronic/severe end of the spectrum, I highly recommend you seek a professional coach – one who’s degreed, certified in numerous areas, and has years of racing and coaching experience. This person can get you back on track and salvage your season, not to mention your health.  Delving a little deeper, if you recently are experiencing decreased performance, increased fatigue, sleep disturbances or inability to remain asleep at night or during naps, sudden persistent and more pronounced muscle soreness, increase injuries (i.e. stress fractures, muscle strains, biomechanical injuries due to inattentiveness…) increased irritability, elevated training and resting heart rate (HR), appetite changes in either direction, feeling of heaviness or lethargy (just feeling exhausted overall), or out of energy – what we used to refer to as being “burned out”, then you have more than likely entered the “downward spiral of the overtrained state” as I like to call it.  At this point you must significantly increase your rest and time off in order to get back to that adequately recovered state.  You must “soul search”, make an honest assessment, and take time off.  Depending upon where you are, this may mean days, or even weeks or months if you’re severely overtrained.  First, take the next 48 hours totally off, and then reassess after this period.  During this period, I usually prescribe extra rest – whether naps or just staying off of your feet, a sports massage, Epsom (Magnesium Sulfate) Salts Baths, Ice or Ice/Heat Therapy, Stim Therapy or Electronic Stimulation therapy with devices such as a Marc Pro or Compex Stimulation Unit are also very beneficial in muscle recovery and repair.  Along with these therapies, it’s even more critical to stay hydrated.  If you’re HR is still elevated, and the overall feelings are still unchanged, then continue with another 48 hours off and reassess.  For most of you, you’ll be feeling like a tiger again in 48 – 72 hours, and be able to pull yourself back into a healthy trained state.  It is most helpful when others (i.e. coaches, training partners, teammates, family members) can assist you with an objective viewpoint, as they may observe cues or stimuli that you may not realize you’re exhibiting.  So if you remember nothing else, remember that considering all of the Optimal Performance Components, “Recovery is just as Important as Training Itself©”!  So go out and place emphasis on your recovery, because I know you’re going to focus on your training, and if you have learned how your body responds and recovers, then you will progress towards your optimal performance potentials.  Don’t ignore these signs – as they may become very serious to your health, not to mention future performances.  If you have more questions, just ask the coach.

Todd Parker is a World-Renowned Cycling & Triathlon Coach, Influencer within the Sports & Fitness Industries, and Corporate Wellness Consultant – consulted by Coaches, Athletes, Corporations, Governing Bodies, and Sports Supplement, Gear, and Apparel Companies Worldwide.  Todd’s a former Professional Triathlete, Elite Cyclist, Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, Public Speaker, Guest Lecturer, and Professor. Besides his expertise in consulting in Training and Coaching, Todd is also Armed Protective Services Bodyguard, Antiterrorism, Counterterrorism expert and a Corporate/Government Security Consultant.  You can reach Todd at: TP2Coaching@gmail.com , by appointment only, or at his secure site https://toddparkertrainingprograms.com/ 

Man asleep on sofa, close-up

“Training and Recovery are Cumulative, so remember that every day – even if the day’s Goal is Recovery, you must know what the goals of that training session or day are, and abide by them.”  If your coach or trainer tells you to take the Day Off to adequately Recover, rest, and stay off your legs, then that’s exactly what you must do.  Add in naps, and you’re on track to come out of Winter stronger than ever before.  Regardless of what you may know or see of others out there riding or running…, your Goal for the Day is Recovery (period).  Remember this if you remember nothing else I state here; and that is, “Recovery is Just as Important as Training Itself.”  Until you learn this, you’ll never, and I mean never, reach your Optimal Performance Potential.  After all, isn’t that what we’re aiming for?  Furthermore, you’re never likely to feel fresh and invigorated going into and while performing a workout.  Therefore, if you’re training/exercising 5, 6, or even 7 days a week for close to an hour or more and sometimes 2 or 3-a-days, every session should not be “all out” or “overreaching”.  Yes, there are elite multi-sport athletes that can manage 3-a-days.  To avoid what I call “the downward spiral of the overtrained state”, you cannot overreach consistently day after day.  Decades ago we called that “burn out”.  Regardless of what you want to call it, you have to incorporate easy days at a low intensity effort.  By incorporating recovery sessions, recovery days, and recovery weeks, and days off, you’ll not only avoid overtraining and feel fresher more often, you will also be stronger for it.  It is during those recovery periods that you get stronger – and not while you’re training or exercising at high intensity.  You see, as athletes/exercisers, “we never fully recover”; however, the key is that we “adequately recover”.  This is what you pay your coach or trainer for – to manage your recovery levels as well as your training prescriptions.  For more on training and “The Art and Science of Recovery”, search for other tips and articles I’ve authored, or visit https://toddparkertrainingprograms.com/ to reach out to me.

Todd Parker is a World-Renowned Fitness Industry Leader & Corporate Wellness Consultant – consulted by Corporations, Governing Bodies, and Sports Supplement, Gear, and Apparel Companies Worldwide.  Todd’s a former Professional Triathlete, Elite Cyclist, Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, and Professor with a Masters in Exercise Physiology & Human Performance.  Todd is also an experienced exercise physiologist, professional bike fitter, certified cycling coach, and endurance sports coach.  

You can reach Todd at: TP2Coaching@gmail.com , by appointment only, or on this secure site https://toddparkertrainingprograms.com/ 

 

 

 

Blog Dialog & Spam

July 12, 2013

Dear Readers,

Unfortunately I receive approximately 100 Spam comments a day on this Blog, and find that maybe 1 out of 500 is legitimate.  This is very unfortunate.  In the future, if you have a question, comment, or want to dialog about a topic, please email me via the contact form first so that I know to post it, respond to it, and get a healthy dialog going.   Thank You.  Respectfully, Coach Todd Parker, M.A., M.S.

Overtrained Athlete

If you recently are experiencing decreased performance, increased fatigue, sleep disturbances or inability to remain asleep at night or during naps, sudden persistent and more pronounced muscle soreness, increase injuries (i.e. stress fractures, muscle strains, biomechanical injuries due to inattentiveness…) increased irritability, elevated training and resting heart rate (HR), appetite changes in either direction, feeling of heaviness or lethargy (just feeling exhausted overall), or out of energy – what we used to refer to as being “burned out”, then you have more than likely entered the “downward spiral of the overtrained state” as I like to call it.  At this point you must significantly increase your rest and time off in order to get back to that adequately recovered state.  You must “soul search”, make an honest assessment, and take time off.  Depending upon where you are, this may mean days, or even weeks or months if you’re severely overtrained.  First, take the next 48 hours totally off, and then reassess after this period.  If you’re HRs are still elevated and the overall feelings are still unchanged, then continue with another 48 hours off and reassess.  For most of you, you’ll be feeling like a tiger again in 48 – 72 hours, and be able to pull yourself back into a healthy trained state.  It is most helpful when others (i.e. coaches, training partners, teammates, family members) can assist you with an objective viewpoint, as they may observe cues or stimuli that you may not realize you’re exhibiting.  So if you remember nothing else, remember that considering all of the Optimal Performance Components, RECOVERY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE TRAINING ITSELF!  So go out and place emphasis on your recovery, because I know you’re going to focus on your training, and if you have learned how your body responds and recovers, then you will progress towards your optimal performance potentials.

Todd Parker is a World-renowned Fitness Industry Leader & Corporate Wellness Speaker,  former Professional Triathlete, Elite Cyclist, Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, and Professor with a Masters in Exercise Physiology & Human Performance.  Todd is also an exercise physiologist, certified cycling coach, and endurance sports coach.  You can reach Todd at: TP2Coaching@gmail.com , by appointment only, or at his secure site https://toddparkertrainingprograms.com/ 

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It seems as though I  continue to get requests on this topic; therefore, I will need to keep re-visiting the topic of Recovery & its critical importance to performance – for training, racing, and reaching for those optimal performance goals.  And although I wrote this particular piece for Triathletes, this is applicable to all endurance athletes (i.e. Cyclists, Runners, Swimmers…) as well.

Athletes, if you rarely remember what you’ve read pertaining to your training and race preparation, remember this, RECOVERY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS TRAINING ITSELF!  Whether we’re a beginner or pro, sprint or ironman distance competitor, many are training 5, 6, 7 days per week, and not just once, but sometimes 2-3 sessions per day.  To be honest, we never fully recover, but the key here is “adequate recovery”.  Depending on the volume and intensity of any particular training session, adequate recovery may be as short as 1-6 hours of rest, to upwards of 36-48 hours.  Adequate recovery may range from a shorter “recovery ride, run, or swim” later in the day or the following day, to literally not training for a day or two.  Again, this depends upon the volume and intensity of the recently completed workout, as well as one’s fitness level, profession, and training and racing years of experience.  By profession, I mean that there’s quite a difference between a low-stress job that has you seated for 8 hours, opposed to a high stress job (i.e. an emergency room nurse) who is on their feet for 24 hours straight.  Coaches and athletes must certainly consider such aspects into the training and recovery balance.  With years of training and racing experience, we learn  much about our body and how it responds to varying levels of training and recovery, so racing experience in terms of years are also very important considerations for coaches and athletes when prescribing/executing training plans.  Without adequate maintenance of your recovery levels, you’ll never achieve your optimal potential, and you may as well peak now, because you sure won’t on race days!  Other recovery aspects such as refueling and hydration are also critical, so stay tuned for future articles on these topics.

For more help, contact me via one of the means below.

Todd Parker, Sr., M.A., M.S.
Former Pro Triathlete, Exercise Physiologist, Endurance Sports Coach, 
Strength Coach, Personal Trainer, and Competitive Ultra Marathon Cyclist

Owner, TP2 – Todd Parker Training Programs, LLC
http://www.toddparkertrainingprograms.com/
TP2Coaching@gmail.com or 215.80.Coach (215.802.6224) Skype: USCoach2016

Also, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, CoachUp, Angie’s List…etc.

Recovery, do you know how to recover adequately between intervals, sets, workout sessions, microcycles (1 week), mesocycles (2-6 weeks), training phases (multi-month periods)…?   If not, you simply will not reach your true performance potential (period).    Stay tuned for follow-on articles on this topic.

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I am continually getting the question, “what is the over-trained state, or what does over-trained mean?”

Entering this state is often precipitated by continually high volume and or intensity without adequate rest, and includes performance decline with other typical stress-related psychological, psychosomatic, and physiological symptoms and signs that can be graded from mild to severe.  A mild form includes psychological and psychosomatic symptoms (e.g., anger, fatigue, tension, loss of appetite, lethargy, or sexual unwillingness), some short-term sleep problems, and muscle fatigue.  It can also include immune system and or hormonal disturbances such as upper respiratory infections and menstrual irregularities.  Severe forms include symptoms such as depression, severe long-term insomnia, and long-term muscle soreness.  If any of this sounds familiar or commonplace, you need to take a step back and seriously analyze what you’re doing while you take the next 2-3 days off.  If you conclude that you’re at the more chronic/severe end of the spectrum, I highly recommend you seek a professional coach – one who’s degreed, certified in numerous areas, and has years of racing and coaching experience.  This person can get you back on track and salvage your season, not to mention your health.  Don’t ignore these signs – as it can become very serious to your health future performance potentials.

Questions or comments anyone?

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Overtrained?

December 20, 2011

I am continually getting the question, “what is the overtrained state, or what does overtrained mean?”

Entering this state is often precipitated by continually high volume and or intensity without adequate rest, and includes performance decline with other typical stress-related psychological, psychosomatic, and physiological symptoms and signs that can be graded from mild to severe. A mild form includes psychological and psychosomatic symptoms (e.g., anger, fatigue, tension, loss of appetite, lethargy, or sexual unwillingness), some short-term sleep problems, and muscle fatigue. It can also include immune system and or hormonal disturbances such as upper respiratory infections and menstrual irregularities. Severe forms include symptoms such as depression, severe long-term insomnia, and long-term muscle soreness. If any of this sounds familiar or commonplace, you need to take a step back and seriously analyze what you’re doing while you take the next 2-3 days off. If you conclude that you’re at the more chronic/severe end of the spectrum, I highly recommend you seek a professional coach – one who’s degreed, certified in numerous areas, and has years of racing and coaching experience. This person can get you back on track and salvage your season, not to mention your health. Don’t ignore these signs – as it can become very serious to your health future performance potentials.

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