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Overtraining


Over training is a very common area in both fitness and sports. This can be caused from several different factors, and usually does not happen quickly, rather, over the course of time which results from prolonged training and a lack of recovery time. Over training is spotted when an athlete is unable to perform and adapt during training sessions. A serious decrease occurs in the athletes motivation and ability to properly perform. Athletes are continuously undergoing various training cycles, some of which are extremely tasking to the body. During this process, the overall performance of an athlete may be at risk. Aside from sports, personal stress may cause serious fatigue to occur in an athlete, which may disrupt training. “When athletes drive themselves beyond their physiological limits, they risk an accumulation of fatigue—the greater the fatigue, the greater the negative training effects, such as low rate of recovery, decreased coordination, and diminished power output” (Bompa & Buzzichelli, 2015, pg. 59).

Daily Heart Rate

Athletes that typically engage in long exercises without an adequate amount of rest and recovery are prone to over training syndrome. These athletes often times are training for specific sport events, and are highly motivated; past the point of recognizing implementation of stress and fatigue to the body. Too much overload and too little recovery can easily result in both physical damage and psychological symptoms. A good way to recognize if an athlete is developing over training syndrome is by recording the athlete’s daily heart rate with either a hand-grip dynamometer or an HRV (heart rate variability monitor). For best results, the heart rate should be detected in the morning, as the athlete is semi relaxed, with little stress impact (Bompa & Buzzichelli, 2015). Visible signs of a dramatic increase of the heart rate detected through recordings before workout, may indicate the athlete is not fully recovered, and should reduce physical load to the body.

Implications

Lack of energy, constant pain in muscles and joints, moodiness, decrease in appetite, depression, and an increase in need to exercise are all signs an athlete may be suffering from over training syndrome (Quinn, 2015). There are several way to treat over training of athletes. Rest and recovery is the first most important outcome for any athlete, and should always be implemented into all performance training. Reducing the amount of physical activity of an athlete for a few days, may help relieve some of the physical stress impacting the athlete's ability to perform. Hydration is another key element in reducing over training and stress/fatigue. All athletes should be 100% hydrated during/after physical performance. Hydration is a key element in keeping the body’s organs and cells alive and fully functional. Massage therapy from a professional is another favorite for most athletes. It helps relax and reduce stress from the outside world as well as anxiety. Athletes who are highly competitive, and are targets for other athletes (hold records) are highly at risk for over training syndrome. These athletes have a lot of pressure on their ability to maintain levels of high performance, and are often times extremely stressed out from this. The best athletes take relaxation methods to high levels of extreme, and often times profile their feelings through training logs. Even though it is hard for athletes to admit when they feel stressed or over trained, it is crucial for coaches to keep a close watch out of athletes psychological impact during training sessions, as this may cut down on the amount of over training syndrome in athletes.

References

Bompa, T.O., & Buzzichelli, C.A. (2015). Periodization training for sports (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Quinn, E. (2015, November 20). Overtraining Syndrome and Athletes. Retrieved from https://www.verywell.com/overtraining-syndrome-and-athletes-3119386

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