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How to avoid overtraining?

What is overtraining?

Have you ever heard of overtraining? Do you know the risks?

It is a phenomenon that affects both top athletes and recreational athletes. It occurs when the duration, repetition and intensity of training sessions are too great and the overworked muscles can no longer reproduce the efforts. It occurs especially when the recovery phases are not sufficient to allow our body to replenish its energy reserves.

The causes

Several causes may combine.

- Excessive training load or too rapid an increase in the type of training (load and intensity);

- Little diversity in the content of training;

- Insufficient recovery, which prevents muscles and joints from replenishing and regenerating;

- Nutritional errors: a poor diet that does not allow for the proper replenishment of glycogen stores;

- Too much stress (from everyday life), which does not allow the body to recover properly.

The symptoms.

Apart from a drop in performance and increased fatigue, the symptoms of overtraining vary from athlete to athlete and from discipline to discipline. The main symptoms are :

- Extreme fatigue

- A drop in performance

- Repeated muscle or joint pain and injuries

- Sleep disturbances (difficulty in falling asleep, waking up at night, hypersomnia)

- Appetite disorders (deficiencies, dehydration, lack of energy intake)

- A change in mood: irritability, aggressiveness

- Lack of motivation during the sessions: loss of concentration, fatigue. 

How can it be avoided?

To prevent overtraining, the athlete must listen to his or her body and be aware of the warning signs listed above.

Also be aware that over time your abilities will change, in both directions. Get a trainer and a sports doctor to accompany you in order to :

- know your capabilities and set personalised objectives at a given moment or a programme;

- Control training loads taking into account training volumes and intensities;

- optimise your recovery: by creating a suitable routine, such as a self-massage after exercise with Elemat universal oil;

- have excellent hydration and a balanced diet.

To avoid overtraining, always listen to your body. It speaks to you. But you have to know how to listen to it properly. Your brain is lazy and will send you a discouraging message. This is normal! But listen more to your joints and muscles, they will give you the right signals.

Justine & Mat

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