The Curse of the Over Trained


If you are overtraining, you will feel tired, your legs feel like lead, you will not recover in the same amount of time as you usually do, and your friends and family will think you are grouchy. A solid way to determine if you have recovered from your previous day’s workout is to check your resting heart rate. First, you have to know what your resting heart rate is. You should take your pulse when you first get up in the morning before you have moved around. It is best if you can just wake up naturally (without the alarm) and count your heart rate for 30 seconds and times by two. That is your resting heart rate. If you get up in the morning and your heart rate is elevated, your body has not recovered and you should take a rest day or take it easy. Most runners run four to five days a week and take one day a week as full rest. The days you do not run, you can do some other form of exercise or nothing at all.

The golden rule for increasing miles is the 10% a week rule. If you follow this rule, you reduce your risk of injury and overtraining. Never increase your total miles by more than ten percent a week. So, if you are running three days a week and you want to add a fourth day you have two options. You can decrease your runs on the other three days and add the fourth day with the extra 10%. As an example, say you run three miles Monday, four miles Wednesday, and 3 miles on Friday. You want to add Saturday. Your total for the week is ten miles. One mile is 10%. You could safely run two and a half Monday, three Wednesday, two and a half Friday, and three on Saturday. The next week you could do three miles on all four days.  The other option would be to just start to build the Saturday using the 10%.

Coupled with the golden 10% rule is a 20% decrease rule, which should occur every four weeks allowing your body to rest and rebuild. When you run, you cause micro tears in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of your legs. This is a good thing overall because it allows you to build and get stronger. However, if you don’t rest every so often then your body does not have a chance to build and will continue to break down. Every fourth week reduce your miles by 20% to allow your body to rest. You should also be taking at least one full day of rest every week for the same reasons. If you don’t rest, you will end up injured and forced to rest. It is a million times easier to take a day off a week and reduce your miles every fourth week, than to miss a race because you pushed it too far.

5 thoughts on “The Curse of the Over Trained

  1. meridethcohrs January 21, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    Love that you posted this! I can tell an immediate difference in my workouts based on how well I am recovering. I use food, sleep and essential oils to promote quicker muscle recovery and circulation and am often dismayed if I don’t do it quite right one day. The difference is palpable!! Those rest days are also CRITICAL as you said 🙂

    • Nicole Lowe January 23, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      I’ve never heard of using essential oils. What do you use?

  2. meridethcohrs January 23, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    Hey Nicole! I have been using essential oils (doTERRA) for the last year and a half to manage all kinds of health issues (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, have some immunity issues, lots of anxiety/stress, etc). After having success in multiple areas, I decided to see what I could do for general muscle recovery and was VERY happy with the results.

    After every workout (I’m training 7 days a week right now with a day off every 2 weeks for 70.3 Ironman) I use Frankincense, Peppermint, Ginger, and Lemongrass to lower the inflammatory response of my muscles. I also use a blend called AromaTouch or Marjoram to increase circulation throughout my muscles. What this has led to is MUCH quicker recovery from workouts of great intensity. 3 years ago when I trained for my first Half Marathon, I didn’t know what EOs were and was sore literally ALL the time. I’ll take this any day of the week!

    Happy to send you some samples to try out Nicole if you’d like! Just shoot me a message at Cheers! 🙂

    • Nicole Lowe January 23, 2015 / 9:54 pm

      Thats amazing I’ve never looked into EOs. i would love a sample, I’ll message you. Do you ingest the EOs or apply them like lotion?

      • meridethcohrs January 23, 2015 / 11:49 pm

        Looking forward to catting with you more about them Nicole 🙂 You use them differently depending on what you’re working on. Some oils, you will use topically (ie. the oils for inflammation and recovery), others aromatically (mood, sleep) and others internally (detox, etc). It’s a pretty fascinating subject!

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