Am I overtraining?

If you have been running and training for any length of time I am sure you may have asked yourself, am I overtraining? But if you haven't asked, you may still have been overtraining and if you have, you are hindering your race performance. And there isn't a magic number that if you hit it, you are overtraining. It is specific to each individual and will vary throughout your running career.

Let's look at my last full week of running (week 6 of strength training).

At first glance you may notice that I fell short of my training goals and as I coach, I would ask my client what was up. And for your knowledge, this week I was indeed okay...for the most part. That 1 mile Monday had me pondering what I was doing since it was the third Monday in a row with decreased performance and energy. I reviewed my training and realized I was running more at the end of the week and therefore; perhaps, asking too much from my body on Monday. On Wednesday I nailed my 5 mile tempo run at my target pace. The week before, I fell a bit short of target pace. My long run didn't happen not because I couldn't but because I chose to spend time with my family camping. I didn't know we would be camping this particular weekend when I wrote my program. It is okay. I say, it was an awesome recovery week.

And recovery is indeed important. But how do you know if you are overtraining? What are the signs? Does it matter? Can't you just run through increased training since more training means better running?

First, take a look at the signs of overtraining.

Yes, you may experience one or two here and there but if you are saying yes to a lot of them, take a break and run less or run slower. Your body needs some love. And yes, this does matter. It is through rest that your muscles heal and you get stronger. Running breaks you down at times. Allow your body to build back up.

I completly understand the desire to run more, run longer, run faster, etc. in order to achieve your racing goals. And yes, this is all necessary but if you continually beat up your body and don't allow it to recover, you are only risking serious injury and/or decreased race performance.

So to answer my first question, am I overtraining? Not right now and hopefully not any more. But I have in the past and that is when I see things like this.

correction, May had 110 miles. Phew!
Yep, I started going down in momentum before my September marathon. That race was hard. You can read about it HERE. It took me time to recover from the race and transition into training for my December marathon but I did it. And I learned a lot. And I am doing the same thing this year but better....I hope.

And to end things on a different note, here are 3 things I just don't understand (that I saw today):
  1. Sitting in a lawn chair in the middle of the road wrapped in dark blanket at 4:30 am {really?!}
  2. Working out in sweat pants and long sleeves or sweatshirts at the gym {I would be way too hot}
  3. The song about a bubble butt that was playing when I left the gym {sorry, just don't get it}
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the flowers dear hubby brought home to me yesterday.
Daily Affirmation: My blue eyes are indeed beautiful.


  1. Anonymous7:47 AM

    I have experienced overtraining.. I really felt awful and got two stress fractures in both my shins. no fun

  2. I've had full blown overtraining syndrome twice (related to low testosterone levels) and it's a nightmare. You're exhausted all of the time and when you exercise you just can't perform and feel quite ill afterwards. My motto now is - if in doubt have a rest day.

    1. What a great motto! Yes, our hormonal levels have a huge impact on our performance!

  3. I experienced overtraining when I was training for my first half marathon... almost kept me from running the race! a couple week of rest and I was good to go but not in the best of shape...
    There is a song about a bubble butt?! who knew?! haha... in high school people would make fun of me and tell me I have one... .no wonder it's my least favorite part of my body!

    1. I am so glad you were able to at least run the race! Thanks for sharing.


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