There are a number of clear signs of overtraining. These include:
- Extreme fatigue, depression or lack of enthusiasm for training. We all have days when we are really not in the mood, and without pushing past that no one will ever achieve anything. But if you consistently feel lousy or not in the mood for your training, you need to look carefully at what you are doing. Often a short break or change on routine can work wonders.
- Regular injuries or sickness. All athletes suffer occasional injuries or sickness, but if either of these becomes a regular occurrence, it is a sign that something is not right in your training, and you should therefore review your training program to find the problem areas.
If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, it pays to evaluate your training.
The best tool for evaluating your training is a training diary. Keeping a regular training diary will allow you to see the patterns and signs that can point to overtraining.
A training diary doesn't need to be complicated. Make a note of the following:
- Time of day and length of workout
- What you did
- How it felt
- Any changes you made to your routine or training
This will soon become a habit, and will be an effective tool for analyzing your training.
For competitive athletes, there are additional indicators of overtraining.