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How do I know if I am over-training? By Marathon Physio Lucy Macdonald


What negative effects can over-training have?

Over-training is a major reason people get injured. It puts undue strain on your heart and lungs and causes your immune system not to work properly. This opens you up to coughs, colds, infections and other more serious diseases. The high stress levels can also affect hormones and mood and have a negative impact on psychological function including anxiety and/or depression.


What are the signs of over-training I should look out for?

Watch out for the early warning signs of over-training which include one, or combination of any number of the following: feeling constantly tired, fatiguing quickly, plateauing in training or strengthening, constant aches and pains, repetitive injuries, difficulty sleeping and getting multiple minor illnesses or infections.


What should I do if I think I might be over-training?

If you think you might be over-training:

  1. Speak to Lucy and her physio team who can help you prioritise your running programme.
  2. Make your training sessions small but perfectly formed. Short stints of high resistance training (30 mins to cover most muscle groups) every third day is best for building muscle. Interval training is more effective than long plods when it comes to cardiovascular training.
  3. Include rest and sleep in your training programme and elevate them above the level of importance you place on actual training sessions. 
  4. Get your nutrition right.
  5. Don’t drink alcohol or eat very sugary or highly refined foods and don’t smoke.
  6. If you are feeling stressed, anxious or angry make sure you stick to what you planned on doing to avoid letting your emotions push you too far. Also try not to compare yourself to other people – set your own goals and don’t go beyond them.


More marathon physio advice 

Follow @octopusclinic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and/or Lucy Macdonald on YouTube to access our latest free videos on marathon training and injury prevention. If you would like our marathon handbook and are running for charity please contact Lucy Macdonald directly on lucymacdonaldphysio@hotmail.co.uk or if you would like to get the video course Your Marathon: Your Physio please click on the link. 

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