Overtraining is likely the leading cause of running injury and burnout. Just running a little too much or too hard for your fitness level without adequate time spent in active recovery (zone 1 of interval heart rate training) will eventually lead to overtraining. Listen to your body and take note when your typical training pace feels like a chore or when aches and pains occur more often. Simple solutions to avoid overtraining:
- INTERVAL HEAR RATE TRAINING: Practice interval heart rate training! (This is best when you know your actual VO2 at anaerobic threshold and peak and when you know your accurate heart rate at your true anaerobic threshold).
- MONITOR YOUR RESTING HEAR RATE: If your resting heart rate, the one before you get up and out of bed, is 10% more than your normal resting heart rate, take the day off.
- MIND YOUR MILEAGE: Ideally your weekly mileage increase should not exceed 10%. It is a good idea to drop your mileage back a bit after three consecutive weeks of increasing it.
- RECOVERY: Again, this is where interval training comes in handy. Zone 2, right below your true anaerobic threshold, and Zone 3, short bursts over your anaerobic threshold intermixed with zone 2, an recovery time spent in Zone 1 equate to efficient, effective training that will optimize your performance while steering you away from the pitfalls of overtraining!