Talkback: Overtraining: Spot the Signs

This article has really hit home with me. I returned to training after a few months out, and started to incorporate cross training on rest days whilst running for at least an hour on other days. This is all to build up for training and running the half marathon.

I have noticerd that I am struggling to concetrate on anything and working fulltime this is impacting on my job, as well as my personal life. As a single parent there is never enough hours in the day to do everything, but I have been feeling very agitated, stressed out and depressed and my son who is only 10 is obviously having to deal with it.

After reading about UPS I am beginning to understand the anxious state of my mind as I was confused previously as to why I am feeling this way when exercise is supposed to make you feel on top of the world! Or at least good about yourself.


  • i was getting faster and faster in training so stupidly upped my mileage and intensity , where i was on course for a 1:32 half marathon I started to find it diffiuclt to get my heart rate up during training, then whack! two weeks in bed with a virus and ran the half marathon yesterday in 1:53! its going to take another couple of weeks to get anywhere near normal . dont be greedy and push yourself too far like I did you'll end up worse off. slow steady improvement is the only way.
  • Yep I'm guilty too, I often overdo it and whilst I don't really suffer with other overtraining symptoms as such, I do get injured fast when I do too much too soon and end up missing lots of training. Bummer isn't it image
  • Been training for Paris & after a long x country run went straight onto the spin bike until my calf went bang with cramp, never felt pain like it,  that was weeks ago & after several long training runs again & in denial that my calf was a problem I have whacked the calf good & proper. Ice, rest, heat cream & more ice & in a panic now for Paris. What a blow after months of winter training.
  • Thank you - very interesting.  "me too".  I've got symptoms - unable to recover even after two days off (unheard of) - hard to concentrate at work - waking up at 2 or 3 am and not going back to sleep for an hour or two....

    But it's not the running that's changed - it's work.  I got a new job in December -  I love the work, but it's huge hours and lots of stress, and also paying for a London commute is taking it's toll on the finances.

    No way I'm giving up the running though!

  • What an excellent article and certainly food for thought for many of us I suspect.
  • ExhaustedExhausted ✭✭✭

    Err. Guilty of under-training I'm afraid. I'm only running twice a week, and sit down the rest of the time - symptoms similar though!

    I think it should be called "blinker syndrome." There are more important things in life than running, yet we're conditioned to believe that if we have problems in other part of our lives, maniacal running will somehow dispel the problems and give us the magical solutions we need.

    Nope. They're still there, and nothing, not even running will make them go away. So. Let's stop believing this rubbish. Running is great for health, but isn't the panacea for all ills. It's when we get addicted to the idea that it is, we store up all sorts of problems for ourselves.

  • It's happened to me too.  training for marathon - working full time - going to exercise classes when not runnng.. losing my rag at work - not sleeping v well & now suffering with a niggling injury that won't go away.

    But now I've had to admit defeat & rest for a couple of weeks before the marathon & hope for the best. 

    I will not give in or give up running as to be honest it is the best stress buster for me.  Bring on summer, light evenings & running over the South Downs.. you can't  beat it.

     happy running to all of you

  • Hear, hear, Exhausted! There is indeed more to life!
  • Exhausted - I don't think anyone has suggested that running will get rid of all your problems. For a lot of people running provides a much needed release and gives an endorphin high that puts us in a positive frame of mind. It's this frame of mind that allows us to look at our problems (whatever they may be) and face them in a more proactive way.

    Speaking from personal experience, running has made me able to escape and be on my own for a short period of time whilst concentrating entirely on something I enjoy immensely. This leaves my mind refreshed and more capable of coping with whatever is currently eating at me.

  • After starting running last year and doing the royal parks half marathon in October the natural progression was a marathon.  I was following the runners world sub 4.00 training plan but began to suffer from very sore shins and calves.  After taking some time off with no improvement I have been in physio for 3 weeks.  I have only just begun to train lightly for the marathon on 25th April.  I'm now starting to panic and worry which is also affecting my sleep patterns and concentration at work.  image
  • As the article hints 'no one size fits all' and that's so true.  My sister quite happily runs 90 miles a week but when I have got up to 80 in the past while training for a marathon then all sorts of niggles and injuries kick in.  I learnt the hard way that my body can manage up to 65 per week and that's it.

    Having said that I'm now training for my first ever ultra marathon and have incorporated lots of hill training.  I'm at the beginning of my training programme but the change in it is making me tired and leg sore as I get used to it.  My job too is quite stressful and I've had sleepless nights aplenty!  My way round it is if I need to catnap when I come in from work before going for a run then I will or sometimes after a weekend race or run I'll have a lie down.  It's important to recharge your batteries as and when you can.

    I'm lucky that I really do love to get out and run as whilst it does appear to be adding to the pressures of the day it also helps me to alleviate the stresses of work and put them behind me for a while.

    Good luck to all those doing the marathon (or any other race they are targeting) and I hope those that are struggling do manage to get there.  Stay focused.

  • daveycon wrote (see)
    After starting running last year and doing the royal parks half marathon in October the natural progression was a marathon. I was following the runners world sub 4.00 training plan but began to suffer from very sore shins and calves. After taking some time off with no improvement I have been in physio for 3 weeks. I have only just begun to train lightly for the marathon on 25th April. I'm now starting to panic and worry which is also affecting my sleep patterns and concentration at work. image

    How did you choose that time goal? was it something you got by calculation or previous results or did you just guess it?

    Sounds like you overdid it to me

  • Such a relief to see I am not the only person who tries to make injuries go away by pretending they're not there image

    Running is the part of my day that belongs to me and me alone- dearly as I love my children after a day of the Easter Holidays I am desperate to get out and run. The idea of not going throws me into a panic and does awful things to my state of mind.

    Of course, the muscle I pulled in the freezing sleet in Bungay in Feb doesn't care about my mental health; it just wanted a day off to recover, which naturally I ignored until it needed a week off instead.


  • good article, thanks
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Always surprises  me that runners get into running and then suddenly have to do a marathon...within a year or so.

     Surely the natural progression when you've done a half marathon is to do one quicker? rather than take on a distance that although technically double, actually is in reality way tougher than 13.1 x2!

  • Super article, this happened me last year, thought I was a great fella when pace got quicker and distances got longer.  However, wasn't eating properly and upped the distances too quick.  Result was I crashed, had a real deep tiredness. 

     Stopped running for a few months, sorted out a running plan, sorted out my diet and ran a great half marathon in Connemara last Sunday.  Also, relaxed a bit re the whole running thing and I've never run better.

    Agree re rushing into a marathon, enjoy 3 or 4 half marathons and then if you must.

  • Wow do i agree with this one, i run marathons, bit of training, then im on start line to enjoy the day..Many say my training is a click on mouse to enter!! Did London and Berlin last year..Loch Ness before Edinburgh before that.

     Many at my club go all out to do a Marathon time only to get depressed when they dont, na sod that, live too short..Train but dont go mad!!

  • RickJ2903RickJ2903 ✭✭✭

    This article absolutely hit the nail on the head for me, I would love to swop stories of training 80 miles per week or double training days. But I am a fifty one year old about two stone overweight (it was about four) who has been running for about 12 months, completing 4x10k races.

    I run between two and three times per week, totalling only about 15 miles. My long run generally being 10-12.5k and very little exercise in-between runs.

    At the beginning of April I decided to up the effort to help shift the weight so I continued with the 2-3 runs and decided that every morning I would get on the treadmill and do 10-15 mins at just below 10k pace and then do 200 strokes on the rowing machine. Well I loved feeling really awake before going to work, however by this week my long runs have become a real struggle towards the end, with serious burning in my quads, feeling like I am running on empty and not enjoying my runs. So it looks like its rest time for me and hopfully get my (very limited) mojo back.

  • Hi all,

    I am exactly the same!  Running is a passion that i cannot live without.  I too have hurt myself, i hurt my hip 4 weeks ago, got better, then bang, tried a run and it is sore again!

    I have to rest as i have a 10k race next week, then a half marathon in June.  I feel these hip problems started as you are on such a strict training plan, and my body has just said enough is enough!

    Gonna rest for the week, might attempt the old cross trainer later in the week and see how i get on!

    Wish me luck x 

  • MadameOMadameO ✭✭✭

    Good luck Colleen!

    It kills me to admit that the article is describing me. I upped my training last year (went from an average of 30mpw to 45-50) and it was brilliant. I ran PBs at every distance and knocked 23 minutes off my marathon time - this year I was all set to go for sub-3:15, but all I've done is get slower again. Part of it is outside stresses, but I don't think it helped that I was racing a lot over winter (XC every 2-4 weeks).

    So, I'm going to take a step back for a while. I'll run London in whatever time I can manage, and then give the autumn marathon a miss. I just don't think I have it in me to train for another one this year - so after London I'm going to have a week off, then start again with the shorter distances. No races until I feel better.

    Admitting the problem is the hardest part, and the most important step. We just need to remind ourselves how much faster we'll be when we're feeling good again image

  • I'd go for running shorter races faster - less mileage. Job done!!

    Great points on this thread - all about listening to your own body really...

  • carterusmcarterusm ✭✭✭

    On a related subject to overtraining, a question to all of you who run, say 50+ miles per week (firstly, I am very impressed and secondly I am very jealous !). Those of you with wives, husbands or partners, how do they feel about the amount of time you spend out running ? Having read this and other threads (I have only just joined RW) it seems to me that some people must spend at least 15 hours a week out on the road. I know we all need our own time but I wondered how your partners felt about it ? If they are none runners, are they happy with you spending 15+ hours a week out the house ? (I guess there will be some partners who dont think 15 hours a week is enough !!)

  • @Pete - Always a tricky one that. I try and do the bulk of my runs first thing in the morning whilst her and my little boy are still in bed and that way it doesn't impact on the family too much. Harder in winter though
  • Any advice on recovering after hamstring injuries: (apologies 4 essay) I overstretched hamstring on right leg in training mid Jan - as my training was going wel and so pushed myself a little extra - was bad for while - walking even abnormal 4 a few days. After 2-3 weeks off running altogether (also a cold in this time), gradually started increasing mileage. Had already entered a 12km cross-country event in late Feb, which went quite well, so thought recovered sufficiently to treat Half Marathon today as a race (and not for training). OK till about 10 miles then a slight but sharp twinge in left leg - but not continuous pain, so drastically cut pace. But by 11.5 miles much worse - had started walking. GRR! Ham-string again- at least I can walk without pain. Any advice?
Sign In or Register to comment.