* * * * *
Anyone training for any race can use these tips, but we've paired them with week three of our customized training schedule for the Omaha Marathon in September. Check out the 5K, 10K, half- and full-marathon plans here.
* * * * *
You can train too much, and rest too little – the combination limits your ability to make progress. The easiest way to spot it is when suddenly your results start to drop along with your energy and desire to keep on training.
Symptoms of overtraining include:
- Persistent muscle soreness and fatigue
- Elevated resting heart rate and reduced heart rate variability
- Increased incidence of injuries
- Irregular sleep patterns
The best way to combat overtraining is by training less or upping your rest and recovery time. Here's my formula: RUN > REFUEL > RECOVER > REST > REPEAT.
RUN up to five days a week. Base your intensity level on your physical ability.
REFUEL immediately after a hard workout lasting more than 30 minutes with a drink that contains a 4:1 carb-to- protein ratio. The carbs replace the glycogen you burned off as energy and shuttle the protein to your muscles, which speeds recovery.
RECOVER with post-workout stretching, foam rolling, an ice bath (if you're brave), a trip to a steam room, a dip in a whirlpool or a warm tub with some dissolved Epsom salts, slipping on some compression socks or even a full-body deep-tissue massage.
REST for at least 8 hours a night, and be sure to use your off-days as off- days — do not sneak in additional workouts!
By maximizing your rest and recovery, you also greatly increase the odds that you'll be ready, willing and eager to tackle your next workout.