Depression. Anxiety. Irritability. Lack of motivation. Did you know that these could be signs that you are overtraining? It’s true.
During our athlete’s check ins, one of the things we ask about is daily mood. Believe it or not, this is more than just a conversation piece (although we do like hearing your feels), your mood is important to gain insights into things like overtraining training syndrome (OTS).
Hold up, what is over training syndrome?
Lasting as long as 6 months (or even beyond) OTS is also termed: chronic overwork, burnout, unexplained underperformance and overfatigue. Prior to developing OTS, the first signs of inadequate recovery and overreaching include fatigue and a decrease in performance.
Mood disturbances and other changes psychologically have been strongly associated with over training syndrome. This is particularly true for heavy resistance training (listen up powerlifters). In fact, many individuals can sense overtraining through observed psychological alterations, before decline in performance even occurs. So when we ask your mood and compare it to your training, we are also analyzing that fine balance between training and recovery.
What are some of these Psychological changes?
- Decreased motivation
- Raised tension
- Decreased confidence
- Lack of concentration
Take a good look at this list, because overtraining can also lead to frequent injuries, and in serious cases, illness and infections. So if you notice a sudden change that includes any of these, it is important to first be honest with yourself and then inform your coach. And as coaches, it is also our responsibility to regularly monitor training to avoid the onset of OTS.
The goal of training is to overload effectively so that adaptations will lead to improved performance, not excessive overload with inadequate recovery. Therefore, it is critical that we ask ourselves regularly if our athletes are experiencing any of said symptoms, are there are errors in their program (too many meets, too much volume, excessive intensity), or are there other outside factors contributing (social, travel, stress). When mismanaged, it can lead to detrimental effects that require performance restoration that can take weeks or months, possibly years.
So that leaves the question, how is your mood today? Go on, tell us how you’re feeling. 🙂
Happy training friends!