How to avoid overtraining
Hard training is a natural part of a performance enhancing training program. Training a little more than the body can handle is even necessary. Where things tend to go wrong is when the body does not get sufficient rest after completed training and competition. Then your next training session begins with tired muscles. This can provoke a mild overtraining.
It is important to stop and reflect if the above tendencies appear in your everyday life. An alteration in the training program is necessary. Try to introduce this to your training:
- Do not train harder than 70% of your max pulse the following days.
- Training length should be reduced to 70% of the intended distance with easy pedaling in Zone 1 for a few days. If it did not get any better you should continue with light training.
- Supplement with alternative training, such as swimming, which can give you a low working pulse with minimal strain on your muscles.
- Replace a training day on your bike to relieve those muscles you normally use in connection with cycle training. It is not advisable to run and do weight lifting as an alternative in a situation where you have been overtraining.
After a few days you can again try to push yourself with a little harder training and usually you can look at your morning pulse and feel if your muscles are ready again.
If you experience very pronounced overtraining, then it is extremely important to follow this advice. Follow the advice above until your morning pulse is normal and you feel you are ready for action again. But from here you should actively rest for yet another week! This should be done to ensure you are absolutely ready again.
Even though you feel fresh after a pronounced overtraining, rest an extra week. It is ALWAYS worth it! Trust me on this!
If you do not follow this advise you might run into a little overtraining again and you must wait patiently on your form to return for another couple of weeks.