Overtraining – There is a very popular maxim in sports – train hard, but also smart. Today, many recruits in this area prefer to bet mainly on the first part of it, without thinking about the consequences. For them, intense training and success are directly proportional. But let’s find out what our own physiology says .
Physiology of training and overtraining
It is no lie that in order to make progress, one must work hard. But what actually leads to it? During training, the body is subjected to stress, which is expressed in: increased heart rate and blood pressure, rapid breathing, increased catabolism, changes in blood and hormonal picture, high levels of lactate in the muscles, decreased O2 / CO2 ratio , water loss, etc.
In other words, the body is close to its limits and its only concern is to maintain the balance of its homeostasis. This means that we can talk about physiological improvements only during rest, after intense physical work. This result is a consequence of the load on the cardiovascular and motor systems. Their work is improved by the increased efficiency of heart contractions, the increase in the number of muscle capillaries and the increased glycogen in the cells.
But when does overtraining occur? When we do not spend enough time to rest in a training program, recovery is not effective and we reach a physiological plateau. If this discrepancy lasts a long time, then our form even tends to decline. Overtraining can be most accurately defined as the condition in which the body is subjected to powerful training stress to the point where rest is unable to achieve full recovery.
Chronic over time, this condition becomes a syndrome – “overtraining syndrome”, which is a term given to the physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms that occur as a result of overtraining, lasting weeks or even months.
Pathophysiologically, overtraining is classified into sympathetic and parasympathetic. It is believed that the first type can be considered as the initial phase of overtraining, especially in anaerobic sports such as sprinting, as well as in team sports. It is characterized by anxiety, agitation and frequent errors in performance.
Parasympathetic overtraining, on the other hand, manifests itself during physical activity of a longer duration. This is actually the most common form, the symptoms of which are described below.
Symptoms of overtraining
- prolonged fatigue
- muscle and joint pain
- increased irritability
- sleep problems
- decreased appetite and weight loss,
- respectively diarrhea / constipation
- common infectious diseases
- frequency of injuries
- elevated levels of cortisol (also known as “stress hormone”)
- decreased testosterone
Prevention and coping with overtraining
The longer a workout, the longer you need to rest. It is believed that with short periods of overtraining (about 3-4 weeks), a break of 3-5 days is usually sufficient, after which training can continue. It is recommended that the exercises be shorter later and gradually move to your old form.
Change in the program
Errors in the training program are the leading cause of such conditions. Therefore, if you are a beginner in a sport, it is advisable to contact a coach who will prepare a regime suitable for you personally.
Success comes to those who have patience. Everything in the evolution of a training program has its order, which is expressed in monitoring the form and progress.
Eat well according to your metabolism and training program. Intake of the three essential nutrients, in the right amounts and proportions, is important for the recovery phase.