Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Overtraining? Benchmark test shows negative performance gains

Tonight was the last of Series 4 of the Wednesday night running sessions with Jeff.  At the beginning of series 4 we did a benchmark run of 1,520m around the sports fields near the Saalsporthalle and then up a short hilly stretch of the Uetliberg to the finish.

Tonight being the last session of the series we redid that same test, and my time was actually 7 seconds slower than it was 6 sessions ago, despite some serious training in between.  Hence the big thumbs down to myself in the photo on the left.  As soon as we got to the hill, my legs just felt as heavy as lead and there was no power in them at all.

It must be said that I have not been feeling great all day.  I have had a headache and nausea since I woke up, and it was very difficult to concentrate at work.  I haven't been feeling that good all week though.  Words I would use to describe how I have felt is sluggish, tired, aching, feeling like I need more sleep.

It could be just that I need a bit more sleep or that I have caught a 24 hour virus, but it could also be the early warning signs of overtraining.  Overtraining is something to take very seriously, because if you ignore the early warning signs it can take months to recover fully.  I will monitor myself closely over the next few days, and see if my energy levels start to come back up after resting a bit more than usual.  If they don't I will have to make an adjustment to my training plan, as next week was intended to be a very high mileage week, my last one before the Trail Ticino.  If necessary I can always back off the mileage a bit and put in some cross training sessions instead.  Till now I have always been able to know when I am on the verge of overtraining and stop it from developing into something more serious.  I hope that same self awareness continues.

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