What is overtraining? Types and forms of overtraining

Ten to twenty percent of all athletes suffer from overtraining. Overtraining is more than just not being able to train, or a small dip in competition form. An athlete suffers from overtraining when he / she is unable to sustain training, recover from training and performance deteriorates. There are various forms of overtraining. Sympathetic and parasympathetic overtraining are two forms of overtraining.

Prevention of overtraining is important

Preventing overtraining is important for top athletes where a 1% reduction in performance is the difference between gold, or silver, whether or not they qualify. Overtraining is also strongly associated with infections, more muscle pain, malaise and no sense in training. Injuries are also more common among athletes who suffer from overtraining.

Two forms of overtraining

There are two forms of overtraining: sympathetic overtraining and parasympathetic overtraining.

Sympathetic overtraining

This form is less frequent. In this form of overtraining, the thyroid gland is hyperactive. This form is recognizable by the following symptoms:
  • An increased resting heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased performance

This form has a strong relationship between emotional and psychological stress, along with the interaction between training and competition. This shape is easy to recognize and adjust.

Parasympatic overtraining

Parasympathetic overtraining is more common than sympathetic overtraining. With this form the body is actually constantly adjusted to rest (vagal activity). In the short term (10 days) this form is also called overreaching called. In terms of symptomatology, parasympathetic overtraining is similar to parasympathetic overtraining syndrome. Too many and too heavy workouts with too little rest leads to parasympathetic overtraining.
In the beginning of this overtraining form it takes a lot of effort to deliver the same performance. Short rest periods from a few days to weeks leads to a complete recovery. This shape is much more difficult to recognize, because at first glance it seems that the athlete is in better shape; lower resting heart rate and heart rate does not rise rapidly during exercise. The feeling of the athlete is therefore very important.

Parasympathetic overtraining syndrome; symptoms

Parasympathetic overtraining syndrome means that the athlete is chronically tired, both during rest and during exercise. Performance has also decreased, the sleep-wake rhythm has changed, there are constant minor colds and infections, the athlete is scared, depressed, angry. The immune function has also been demonstrably reduced and the libido of the athlete has decreased. If the athlete suffers from this syndrome, he must rest for a long time. A number of factors can lead to parasympathetic overtraining syndrome:
  • Chronic neuromuscular, neuroendocrine, psychological, immunological and metabolic overload.
  • A dormant injury
  • Poor diet with few carbohydrates
  • Climatic factors (heat, humidity, altitude)
  • Monotonous training and lots of competition

Good periodization can prevent overtraining. A good diet before, during and after training can also prevent overtraining.

Video: Overtraining signs and symptoms from Runners. Sage Running Tips (April 2020).

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