There are various ways of spotting if you are in danger of breaking down from overtraining.
Looking out for these will give you advanced warning and allow you to back off, reduce the workload, and come back stronger than ever.
The main symptoms to lookout for include:
- An increase in resting heart rate of around 10%, or about 5 beats per minute above your normal rate. Many athletes routinely take their heart beat first thing in the morning. If your heartbeat is elevated, it's a sign that something is not right - you are either overtrained, sick, or both, so take a day off!
- Reaching training heart rate zone much sooner into a training period than usual. Heartbeat is very sensitive to changes in your wellbeing, so this is another one to watch out for. If your heartbeat jumps very quickly when you start your workout (i.e. far quicker than normal) it is a sign that your system is overtaxed.
- Increased time for heart rate to recover between intervals. Most athletes are familiar with how long it takes them to reach a recovery heart rate when doing intervals - again, if this is much slower than usual, back off.
- The inability to make progress in fitness goals.