The demands placed on talented young athletes are greater than ever with more opportunities to train and compete. Players have to balance demands from school, club, county, region and sometimes country. Here are six signs you might be overtraining.
1. Increased morning heart rate
This is a great way of predicting how well you are recovering from training and the likelihood you might be in line for a bout of illness. Your resting heart rate is most accurately taken first thing in the morning just after you have woken up and before you sit up or get out of bed. There are accurate heart rate monitors and fitness watches available these days or you can get a rough idea by counting the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiplying by 6.
This should be pretty consistent every day and is a measure of how fit you might be. If however, you notice a sudden jump in resting heart rate (even if you feel the same as normal) then this could be a sign your body is fighting something off and if you don't ease back a cold or viral infection could be just around the corner.
2. Constant tiredness
If it is a struggle to go training, if you would rather not go, or if you find yourself falling asleep during a warm-up (something I did once during my University days) or during the day then you could be overtraining. There could be an underlying medical cause so be sure to see your Doctor if it persists but a couple of days off and plenty to eat might be in order.
Unless you are training to be a soldier then constant tiredness is not good. Remember, you are not just training when you are training. You are training when you allow your body to recover and grow back stronger than it was before.
3. Persistent muscle soreness
Being a little bit sore a day or two after training now and then is not a bad thing. It is telling you that you have trained hard. But constant muscle soreness could mean you are not allowing your body time to recover. Remember, you are not training when you are training..... you are training when you allow your body to recover and overcompensate ready for the next training session.
4. Lack of motivation
Is training more of a habit? Something you have always done but no you are questioning why? No goals to aim for or doubt you could reach them if you tried? Overtraining can kill motivation. Try something different for a few weeks or take a complete break.
Are you Mr or Mrs. Grumpy! Are you losing it with teammates, parents, kids, friends? Overtraining causes tiredness which often results in irritability. We all know it hard enough to train so when someone or something makes it even harder it is easy to overreact.
Other indicators of overtraining include illness, recurrent coughs & colds, sudden weight loss and even depression. Sometimes taking a break can improve performance just as much as a hard training session.