Quick notes on flaws in training program design.

Flaws in training program design are ultimately the cause of over training which is a result of an imbalance between training and recovery from excessive periods of training with inadequate recovery.

Often, more than one of these factors contribute to the development of overtraining:

  • Frequent travel and competition
  • Inadequate recovery between training sessions
  • Increases greater than 10% per week in training volume
  • Excessive high intensity training sessions
  • Sudden increases in training intensity
  • External stressors (family, job, school, environment, etc.)
  • Unvarying training programs
  • No break in training between seasons

Steps to avoid overtraining:

In developing your training program follow the principals of periodization.

Plan your racing season in advance. Avoid last minute add-ins as this will inevitably change your workouts leading into the race and after.

We all have stress, life happens and communication is important with your coach when external stressors are elevated. Example,Increase in workload at your job, travel, change in job or relationship, new family member, etc. Modifications to your program may be warranted to insure adequate recovery has taken place.

Avoid cherry picking workouts. Often intensity sessions are selected over base training and recovery sessions in the event of a shortened week due to last minute family, school, or job obligations. If it's difficult to follow your training program make appropriate alterations or consult with your coach.

If you're exhibiting symptoms of overtraining your training program would need to be reworked with a decrease in training volume and intensity.

If you're not following a training program keep a log of your workouts completed. Note the volume and intensity so you'll have a history to review and possibly make adjustments to your training habits.