Worried about Overtraining

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  • #63835
    wdobrow
    Participant

    Long time reader, first time poster here! I’m currently about 5 weeks through the Transition period of my first training cycle following TftNA. Last week (Wednesday) I had a workout that I ended up cutting short due to what felt like an elevated heart rate compared to my usual exertion, and then an elevated resting heart rate for about 2 days after that. I immediately stopped training until my resting heart rate returned to normal (Friday), and then also took off Saturday and Sunday before returning to training, with a planned 10% reduction in volume to hopefully avoid the same problem. Monday of this week I was able to complete a Z2 workout and General Strength session with no issues, although after another short Z2 on Tuesday I’ve been feeling pretty fatigued, more than normal, and haven;t been feeling the same “bounce” in my legs on stairs and during workouts.

    Before starting training I performed the Aerobic self-assessment and I do have about a 20% difference between AeT and AnT, so I’ve been doing pretty much all my training in Z2, around 140BPM.

    Here’s my training history for the transition period, I started with 5 hours/week for weeks 1-3 and felt great throughout them, increased to 5.5 for weeks 4-5, week 4 went well, also felt great, but had the workout I had to cut short on Wednesday of week 5.

    Weeks 1-3
    5 Hours (~90% in Z2)
    2 General Strength per week (1 circuit weeks 1-2, 2 circuits week 3), 1 day climbing
    All grades A-B, except for maybe 1 C on a hungover strength workout

    Week 4
    Increase to 5.5 Hours Z2
    2 General Strength (2 circuits), 1 day climbing
    All grades A-B, except for a C on the final Z2 workout of the week (~1 hour duration)

    Week 5
    Aimed for another 5.5 hours, completed 2.75 before stopping training
    Mon: 1.5hr Z2 Grade B, General Strength (3 circuits) Grade B
    Tues: Rest
    Wed: Aimed for a 2hr Z2, cut short to 1.3hr grade D
    Stopped training for the rest of the week after this workout

    This Week:
    Currently aiming to reduce to 5 hours
    Mon: 1.3hr Z2 Grade B, General Strength (reduced to 2 circuits), grade B
    Tues: 1hr Z2 AeT Test, Grade B
    Wed (Today): 1hr Z2 Grade B-, felt a little fatigued

    Wondering if I should look at giving it 2 weeks to really recover before starting training again? Also considering reducing volume to 3.5-4hrs after a rest period. Not really feeling the same as I was in weeks 1-3 when I was really killing it haha. Just looking for some general guidance if I should be worried about this and how to proceed! Thanks for any help!

  • Keymaster
    Jane Mackay on #63854

    Wdobrow, this isn’t my area of particular knowledge, but one thing jumps out at me right away from the training schedule you outlined: I don’t see any recovery weeks. The typical training cycle is three weeks build, followed by one week of recovery at 50%-75% volume of the last build week. In TftUA, a 50% reduction in volume is recommended for the transition period. For your week four, that would be 2.5 hours. The recovery period is when your body adapts to the training stress you have put it under. This is when the gains occur.

    How much recovery your body needs is of course very individual, and is influenced also by the other stressors in your life (work, family, travel, etc.) and also age. For example, I have found my body responds best to a 3-week training cycle: two weeks build followed by a recovery week.

    It does sound like you’re probably overtrained. If it were my body, I’d back off, make sure I was eating and sleeping well, do a little light activity (e.g. a walk) if it feels good, but if the body says “meh” when I suggest a walk, then I take that as a no. Swimming in a relaxed way can feel really good.

    This article explains the physiological and other indicators of overtraining (it sounds like you might have already read it if you’re doing the stairs test, but here it is anyway): https://uphillathlete.com/overtraining/

    This article gives tips to aid recovery: https://uphillathlete.com/tips-to-aid-recovery/

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #64733

    I recommend taking a break of 4-5 days and see if your energy does not return to normal. It is most likely that you have just over reached and need a break to allow you body to catch up. Do not become a slave to your program. Rest when you get tired, take days off when you need to. Declining performance is the first sign that you are not recovering and your body is not adapting to the training.

    I hope this helps,
    Scott

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