When these things are neglected, you might get to a point where your structured recovery just isn’t enough. You find yourself snoozing through your alarm, dragging yourself through the day or just feeling generally beat up before, during and after your runs.
When this happens, it’s OK to take an extra recovery day or even swap a harder workout for an easier, more relaxed run. Overtraining and burnout are inhibitors to performance, and it’s important to recognize the symptoms and adjust your program accordingly.
“I know to shut down a workout when I notice my breathing is more labored or out of control compared to what it would normally be for the type of run I’m doing. I also pay attention to my heart rate and, if it’s skyrocketing compared to normal, I know my body needs rest,” explains Jennifer Bigham, a Pittsburgh-based professional runner and 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier.
“And, of course, anytime I feel sharp pain or something that causes my running form to change, I know it’s time to shut things down.”
Embracing a long-term approach, and being mindful of your body’s signals, can not only help maximize your overall performance but also ensure you have a healthy relationship with running.