Wanna hear a scary story? You’re training for your big race and you… get sick! Like, really sick. And right before your big day. Or you pull a muscle and you can’t run for a month. Or you feel like you can’t get out of bed for a week. OoooOOOoohhhhhh scary, huh? When it comes to training, more is better, right? NO! Jebus Baby Christ, NO! Your body doesn’t like that, your head doesn’t like that, and your friends and family probably don’t like it either. It’s the equivalent to NOT sleeping. Your body needs a day to calm down, regroup, and heal. If you train or work out hard every day, then have your busy life on top of that and don’t take at least ONE day off of your training --- You’ll get sick, injured or burned out. Here are a few over-training red flags to be on the lookout for:
- Decreased performance - Strength, power, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance. (Noodle-like muscles, can't breathe like you used to, and that hill got bigger than it was yesterday.)
- Decreased training tolerance and increased recovery requirements. (All the crankiness. All the food.)
- Decreased motor coordination. (Falling down a lot more than yesterday.)
- Sleep and eating disruptions. (Up all night, and not so great with the refueling decisions.)
- Headaches, gastrointestinal distress, muscle soreness and damage, joint pains. (Feel like an 89-year-old man who ate a whole can of beans, including the can.)
If you are scared about taking a day off, try the following things so you are assisting your training without working it. It's called active recovery. See, that sounds good…right?
- Massages. They are awesome and do wonders to help your body heal so it can get back into action.
- Recovery yoga. Jasyoga does an amazing online #RESET session that will get your body feeling the love.
- Epsom salt bath. They are magic and make your sore muscles feel less cranky.
- Long walk to keep your body moving.
- Treat yoself to a power punch meal that helps muscles heal. Veggies and protein will be happily accepted by your body, and make you feel like getting back out there.
For more on over-training, check out this article (while lying in bed, on your day off)!
*Bonus tip! Schedule your days off in your training plan and make them sacred. It'll make you respect the time off more, and your training will be more effective, because your body will be rested and ready for work.