Signs of overtraining
A place for those of us over 40 to share their thoughts about running, racing or just life in general, as well as training plans and ideas. These discussions are open to runners of ALL levels.

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runkona
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Signs of overtraining

by runkona » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:22 pm

sluggish....listless, grumpy, and unmotivated....can't be bothered to get out...and when out - no enthusiasm...just looking for it to end....thinking already about what to do when it's over before you have even started....work sucks and want to blame the economy on your form....want some retail therapy but it ain't going to happen 'coz the economy sucks, or rather the cash flow sucks. OK ok...so I have painted the picture. :'(.....since these signs can occur even when not overtrained or is it overeaching???

Now to be mentally tough and look for the signs.

Image
Mileage and Intensity

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90 days

I trust the above image works: I'll post this and check afterwards, and if it does here what it shows. what you are looking at it the last 90 days of running, intensity factor, miles, training stress.

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28 days

this image is TSB, ATL, CTL
TSB = Training Stress Balance. This is often referred to as 'form.' It has to do with the athlete being rested before a race (or not). It may also help us to understand when the athlete is moving toward overtraining as a result of overreaching, which is necessary to achieve high goals. When well rested TSB is positive or at least trending strongly positive. When not 'on form' TSB is very negative and/or trending strongly negative.

CTL = Chronic Training Load. Referred to as 'fitness,' this is a marker of one's training stress over a long period of time, such as 6 weeks. The higher the CTL the higher the athlete's fitness. It indicates that the athlete can handle higher stress levels. Stress (workouts) are the reason we train as it produces adaptation which we call 'fitness.'

TSS = Training Stress Score. This is the heart of the system. The athlete's TSS is calculated for every workout by measuring intensity and duration. Intensity is measured relative to the athlete's Functional Threshold Power (FTP) which is the highest average power the athlete can maintain for 1 hour.

ATL = Acute Training Load. Called  'fatigue.' It is the athlete's short term, rolling-average TSS. It is generally averaged over a 7-day period.

How much negative TSB I can take without overtraining risk?? This is pretty relevant now as I have a pretty clear calendar for the next couple of months. But today; Man I am flat....just ready to put the feet up and watch the Olympics. You'll see that I have been at negative 48 (3 1/2hr trial run) and 12 (13.1mile race) in the past few weeks and am now positive territory.

It isn’t so much the depth of negative TSB that is the cause of overtraining as it is the breadth of negative TSB. And mine is not very wide I think. The key to avoiding overtraining is to have frequent rest to shed fatigue. I've been doing this about every 3rd week at most for about 3-5 days depending on what I’m seeing and hearing from my body. This is very individualized of course, and at the moment I have just had 2 days/week doing hard workouts and then one day on the weekend where it has been racing for the past 4 weeks. This may be the sign that those races have caught up with me. The prior 4 weekends starting with last w/end: 15K, Duathlon 6k/20k/3k, 13.1, 10K, 3.5hr trial run. Perhaps it due to also the fact this past 24 was a break through workout too requiring more than the norm of 24hrs recovery. It was my hardest workout at Vo2 for 1.5 miles following a 1 mile TT. Another observation I have is the past weekend was perhaps also considered a break through workout...an hour at CV. But despite a quick recovery after the w/end ( no workout was scheduled the next day), another break through workout yesterday may have been the tipping point in me reaching my peak fitness. "the more fit you are the faster you race and the need to quick recoveries"....maybe I am there?

With this long block of uninterrupted training it has been very important I honored the easy days and days off, which i have. If you see the running days there are days where no running is done . Specifically Mondays are only weight training. It is not uncommon for me to competley do nothing on Sunday after a Saturday race when travelling back from the interstate racing. Not only does this help me to shed the fatigue and thus avoid overtraining it also makes the quality workouts higher quality (meaning higher absolute intensities and greater duration at moderately high intensities). This is evident from each w/ends racing where I have been hitting some very good times.

Last week you can see a lot of negative TSB, different durations that have definitely overloaded me and created a lot of TSS to rise. When compared to the previous 2 months TSS range on average is it's lowest since May leading into a Ironman 70.3 race.

With this “science” of training right now is very much a trial and error: an art in trying things,  (like for the next 30 days racing duathlons is 3 out of 4 week ends) and see how the body responds. It is possible the long term ATL last month is catching up with my CTL high intensity racing of late. The coming 4-6 weeks Tom and I will get a sense of the training load I'll be able to manage and make adjustments going forward based on my responses. I would expect within 2 mths we will be able to 'prescribe' workouts looking back and know that the past 3-4week was either overtraining or not. At that point we will know more about how to use this data.

Your thoughts and observations are welcomed....now I just regret having that Snickers bar and Tim Tam with for lunch. :-[  back to training very easily for a few days and see how this w/ends race turns out. I'll let you know. Perhaps it is just a case of 48hrs over training blues. So which is it? Over trained or just over-reaching where I am going through an adaption phase increasing fitness.
Last edited by runkona on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Signs of overtraining

by bullseye » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:33 am

Wow! That was a lot to read through. I fully appreciate how committed you are to your training and racing but I think you are overthinking things way too much. You just ran an awesome race the other day and now less than a week later you are worried you are overtraining? If there is one thing I know about Tom's training it's that you never have to worry about overtraining. Yes, you work hard and do a lot of running but he never piles intense workouts together that would put you at risk of overtraining. I would be very surprised if he prescribed you hard workouts following your race over the weekend. An effective coach athlete relationship requires the athlete to have some input into their training and to question training at times but you also need to put your trust in him as belief in the program is more important than any single session you will do.
Of course, discuss how you are feeling with him but I think you need to put away the computer and graphs, run by feel and don't become obsessed with the science of training! Good luck with everything and I really do enjoy your posts and the detail you go into but I also feel it may be your downfall!

runkona
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Re: Signs of overtraining

by runkona » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:41 am

Up date to this post. 
After posting this I did indeed take it easy for the next 24 hrs. I double up'd the next day by splitting the run into two light runs of 30 mins separated by 4 hrs. Early to bed and next day felt fine. As of posting this follow up I'm pleased to say that the duathlon race was a success. A 5/20/2.5 k race the initial 5k I just floated along with those who wanted to be at the front. The opening two mile splits was 6:05, 6:18, a pace I felt Icould hold for another 30 mins.  The CV and threshold training made the running easy at this pace. In fact after leading the bike leg to the last run leg, I was suffiently pleased half way in the 2.5 k there was still gas in the tank for  6:15 pace should it be needed . As it was just three weeks of using the Tin man two hard sessions I'm pleased to say getting the results.

Just another observation here is some reading elsewhere was commented as being what we think is over training is in act loading up the body with fatigue and true over training is observed as several weeks of rest. What I may have experienced is just that... "loading". My 2 cents worth.

Another race this weekend so will post an update too.
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dkggpeters
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Re: Signs of overtraining

by dkggpeters » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Looks like you are using WKO+.  I believe your TSB should stay negative until just before a race which it should go positive at this point or after a season is over.  During a season you are also building on mileage and/or intensity which would drive ATL to be higher then CTL driving TSB negative.  I guess the big question is how much negative can you go without acquiring over-training or getting injured.

dkggpeters
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Re: Signs of overtraining

by dkggpeters » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:47 pm

Runkona,

I would be interested to see what your findings are.  I am using Training Peaks and WKO as well to track my training.  I uploaded my data from my last marathon cycle to get a feel of what it would tell me as I had a lot of success during that cycle after a lengthy layoff due to health issues.  I noticed that my TSB jumped up to +19 the day of the Marathon and ranged from -10 to -20 during peak training.  I never felt over trained during the whole cycle so I use that as a reference.  What I haven't played around with yet is the fact that people recover at different rates and I believe that setting ATL days to something different then 7 days can adjust for this.  I am fortunate as I tend to recover fairly quickly.  Although, having said that I maintained the Tinman philosophy of 2 big workouts a week and didn't add any additional intervals into each weeks training.  I am still following this method and it is working perfectly for me and will use the data from this marathon coming up and the previous one to draw conclusions going forward.

I am a data whore as well but try to not get caught up in letting it rule my training.  I map it out each week and make sure that I follow it as closely as possible.  One thing I have noticed is that it gives me a lot of confidence as I have a lot of data to compare workouts in the current training cycle vs the last one at any given point in time.  I do believe that having confidence in your training is huge and keeps you on track.

Jim
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Re: Signs of overtraining

by Jim » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Step 1: place shoes on feet
Step 2: tie up shoes and double knot laces
Step 3: use the bathroom
Step 4: start watch and run, baby, run.

Disclaimer: if you feel like crap run easy.  If you feel frisky run hard, as hard as you want. Friggin' give 'er.  If you feel like total crap, do not run and have a beer instead.

alicec45
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Re: Signs of overtraining

by alicec45 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:00 am

dkggpeters wrote:Runkona,

I would be interested to see what your findings are.  I am using Training Peaks and WKO as well to track my training.  I uploaded my data from my last marathon cycle to get a feel of what it would tell me as I had a lot of success during that cycle after a lengthy layoff due to health issues.  I noticed that my TSB jumped up to +19 the day of the Marathon and ranged from -10 to -20 during peak training.  I never felt over trained during the whole cycle so I use that as a reference Mutuelles senior.  What I haven't played around with yet is the fact that people recover at different rates and I believe that setting ATL days to something different then 7 days can adjust for this.  I am fortunate as I tend to recover fairly quickly.  Although, having said that I maintained the Tinman philosophy of 2 big workouts a week and didn't add any additional intervals into each weeks training.  I am still following this method and it is working perfectly for me and will use the data from this marathon coming up and the previous one to draw conclusions going forward.

I am a data whore as well but try to not get caught up in letting it rule my training.  I map it out each week and make sure that I follow it as closely as possible.  One thing I have noticed is that it gives me a lot of confidence as I have a lot of data to compare workouts in the current training cycle vs the last one at any given point in time.  I do believe that having confidence in your training is huge and keeps you on track.

You're absolutely right to stick to what you see and not what you could see. Personally, I'm not one to go blind.

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