About Me

Harpenden, England, United Kingdom

Friday, July 29, 2011

Overtraining?


Me? Naah. I have not been running nearly enough for this to happen. Or have I?

Ever since finally accepting the fact that I was unlikely to start running ultramarathons successfully with a base of 20-30 miles per week, I have been gradually increasing the volume of my training, while also trying to keep some quality tempo runs in the mix. Now, about a year and ~3000 miles after starting this experiment, I feel like I might have overdone it a bit. Or maybe I have just reached a threshold level of some sort.

On paper, I am not training all that much. After taking it easy for about a month in January, I slowly built up my weekly mileage from about 40-50 to 60-70 (not that impressive compared to this guy, for example). But after moving to mid Wales, I have more than doubled the elevation gain on my long weekend runs, have been racing quite a bit more than I am used to, and have done a much larger proportion of my training on hard surfaces (pavement, forest roads, and very rocky trails). And my body has recently started sending me signals that this is too much. 

Fortunately, I am due to run 85 miles during the Ridgeway Challenge in less than a month, so I am just going to back off right now and call that a long, gradual taper. Hopefully, I have not done any real damage yet, and I can be mentally and physically fresh come race day.

3 comments:

  1. Wise words, Gancho. It's funny you raise this topic; I have been afflicted with the same "overtraining bug" you speak of lately :-( My body has definitely let me know it's on the verge of being quite unhappy. Frankly, I am glad my last race of the year is at the end of this month. Then, it's a semester of active recovery, i.e., no more week after week of lots of miles and other workouts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you recognize the signs and are wise enough to dial it back! Once again your experience shows in your decision making. I personally don't run enough to overtrain... but life can add to the training load and can lead to "under resting". I am glad to hear you are balancing everything, and i am sure this taper will yield some fast running!!! I bet your fitness level is very high. A few recovery/rest weeks will be icing on the cake!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gancho,

    I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. It will be great to keep up and follow along.

    Good luck with the Rideway Challenge . . . sounds like the hay is nearly in the barn!

    - Adam

    ReplyDelete