all 78 comments

[–]tdammers 74 points75 points  (30 children)

  • Weird things going on with your heart rate
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Failing to hit your paces in hard workouts, trouble finishing your long runs
  • Decreasing perceived performance (without an obvious explanation)
  • Heavy legs all the time (not just the day after a hard workout)
  • Sudden drop in motivation, not feeling like running anymore
  • Feeling light headed, dizzy, chilly, feverish, etc., for no obvious reason
  • Trouble catching sleep
  • Mood swings
  • Niggles, aches, pains that you don't normally feel

Many of these can also be caused by other things, so overtraining is not necessarily the only conclusion.

[–]biggestofbears 29 points30 points  (23 children)

....what's a niggle?

[–]tdammers 25 points26 points  (19 children)

A spot that aches a little, and might turn into an injury soon.

[–]RUNmunn 16 points17 points  (1 child)

It's that injury you're pretending isn't a "full blown" injury so you can keep running :)

[–]damontoo 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Take that back.

[–]sailingpj 13 points14 points  (0 children)

It's that feeling where your knee hurts, but you insist that you just need to stretch a bit and it'll be fine. So instead of stretching you pop an ibuprofen and go on with your day pretending that nothing happened.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (3 children)

I don’t think my knees or feet would tolerate enough training to bring some of those symptoms. Niggles - those I get quite frequently. Sometimes I rest them well, when I push them, they push back, painfully.

[–]tdammers 3 points4 points  (2 children)

It can build up gradually, with no single run exceeding your limits on its own.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

One thing I’m learning is that I don’t do back-to-back run days well. I’ve played a fair amount of catcher (some recently at age > 40) which means a lot of time in a deep squat, as well as something not quite 100% in my left knee. It’s sucked not being able to maintain the mileage I had built up to, but I’m trying to be patient.

[–]tdammers 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Back-to-backs are harder than doing the same mileage in a more evenly spread out way, so maybe reduce mileage for a while when introducing them?

[–]MeddlinQ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The heart rate one is a real deal. I am just taking two days off and I recreated my training plan because the ramp rate was too high and I really felt it recently. I won't hit my planned CTL in an upcoming HM but I told myself that neither I would if I injured myself. The main signs were a) leg pain b) not being able to comfortably run my normal easy pace c) hugely elevated HR even during super easy run.

Can't wait to start running with my updated p´an again. Seriously, people, I know too well the desire to progress fast. But it just doesn't work that way, do yourself a favour and mitigate your overtraining while you can.

[–]thehellcat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thorough list! Covers it all really.

[–]bookwench 15 points16 points  (1 child)

If you're running sidewalks you've run before (no ice) and you fall once, it's a fall. If you fall twice in one month, you've got an issue.

If you get slower and stay slower.

If you feel depressed, tired, and angry more often than usual. Likewise inability to focus or concentrate - even when not running.

[–]lhinds 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you feel depressed, tired, and angry more often than usual. Likewise inability to focus or concentrate - even when not running.

That's me after every long distance race.

[–]awkwardmantis 14 points15 points  (3 children)

The most noticeable sign for me is insomnia. At first, I will wake up briefly a few times a night, but can get back to sleep relatively easy. However, if I don't take a couple rest days when this first happens, I will sleep for an hour or two, and then be wide awake for the rest of the night. It got so bad one time, I had to load podcasts on my phone to quietly listen to at night, because I would lie awake for 4 or 5 hours, and was sleep deprived for a horrible week, despite not running at all during this time. Awful.

The other one is being a crotchety bitch, but this might just be a character flaw.

[–]damontoo 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I just realized this exact thing is happening to me. I've been using cannabis to try to force sleep. I wonder if melatonin would better regulate it. Seems like if you could improve the sleep problem and rest more, it would help recovery which would in turn improve sleep further.

[–]awkwardmantis 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Im sorry its happening to you, too. I don't do well sleep deprived. I usually go to all lengths to avoid the insomnia. (Except for today. I skipped a run yesterday after my long run, so I forced in a 20 min interval workout this afternoon. I may, or may not, be sleeping tonight.)

I don't know if melatonin would work. I tried cannabis one time, and I just laid awake high. I have times of insomnia not related to running, so I think my overtraining, or even overreaching insomnia, may be more severe than usual.

[–]damontoo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I also have insomnia not related to running, but running has made it more predictable. One of the big problems I have normally is I can't force myself to go to bed even when I'm really tired. It's weird.

I hadn't smoked in years so I'm a super lightweight. Smoking makes me too high. I got these edible tablets from a dispensary called micro-tabs that are just 5mg which for me is perfect. It gives me a body high like you might feel when taking an opiate. It was $12 for 20 of em. I'm now taking them after long runs just for the pain/cramps and it works great.

[–]Ufachotchin 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I know I’m spreading myself a little thin when I start to dread running. It’s always tough to wake up for an early long run but if I start to get into the mentality of “Damn. I really don’t want to run today,” I start to take it easy for a while.

[–]ACE415_ 13 points14 points  (3 children)


[–]smashsmash341985 3 points4 points  (2 children)

This is misleading. Although it can be a symptom of overtraining, it can also be a symptom of overstabbing, underbreathing and overbeingcrushedbyabus.

[–]ACE415_ 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You can’t die if you’re already dead

[–]smashsmash341985 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's barely even true.

[–]jw_reading 5 points6 points  (8 children)

Pain in leg or foot that gets worse as you run and doesn’t fade, (signs of a stress fracture)

[–]damontoo 0 points1 point  (7 children)

During the run itself or longer term? I'm concerned I might have shin splints or a stress fracture but when I run it feels fine so I'm thinking shin splints.

[–]jw_reading 1 point2 points  (6 children)

During the run itself, a localized pain that gets worse as you run is something to pay attention too. If you have a pain that subsides as you run but is constantly coming back it could be a running form issue or you might just need new shoes. If you just started running I would Guess shin splints, stress fractures take a while to develop

[–]onthelongrun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

there's also the possibility that he could be adapting to a new stress with the running. This holds very true if you have really run up your mileage after a layoff or are starting up with harder track workouts. It's still wise to back off when you are getting shin splints, but more often than not I've found that after slightly backing off of the training load, I've been able to run even more the following weeks. However, if you are getting a second round of shin splints in the same training cycle, it's more than just "adapting to a new training stress"

[–]damontoo 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I'm in marathon training running about 45 mpw. It's not the shoes as they're the same shoes I've been running with. Just got a new pair and have about 61 miles on them. The pain I have is on the front of my leg just below the knee. It's a sharp localized pain that's like a jolt and is then gone. I don't feel it while running or even after running. It's more during rest periods. From what I read it's consistent with anterior shin splints. I just used a compression sleeve for my long run today because I can't afford to take time off as I'm only 7 weeks out.

[–]onthelongrun 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I would advise dropping to 35 mpw for next week, taking one extra day off and use the compression socks as much as possible. Do this and my guess is that you should be able to run even higher than 45 mpw after you take a recovery week.

You're 7 weeks out, now is actually a great time for a recovery week. 6, 5 and 4 weeks out are going to be some of your tougher training weeks remaining. I'm talking 4 weeks out you should be able to throw down a 55 mile week (using a 45-50-55 progression). From there, taper as necessary.

[–]damontoo 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I have a half marathon on Saturday so I'm already running just under 25 this week including race day and two rest days.

[–]onthelongrun 0 points1 point  (1 child)

fair enough, do think though that racing a 13.1 that 25 miles on the week may be a little low including race day. The good is that your mileage is going to be down anyways, but still looks to be a bit steep of a drop.

I remember in my case I was racing two 8 km's in the span of a week when I had a nasty shin splint that developed four days before the first one after a road workout. It felt like it was a shin splint that was getting worse by the day until race day. Surprisingly I didn't feel it at all during the first race but it did come back on the following day's long run (I was at anywhere from 60-75 mpw at the time). It was a due recovery week for me anyways but I dropped my mileage even lower. It was still there on the second week, but was getting better over the course of the week. After the second race (improve from the first race), while discussing it with a teammate he was saying to lower the mileage even more. That was before the following day's long run where unlike the previous week, I was not feeling it at all. I ended up running an 80 mile week the following week and an 8k PR one week after that.

[–]damontoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm just following Hal Higdon's "personal best" marathon plan. It's 30 weeks long and this is 24/30. After this week, mileage jumps back up to 43. I previously did a half that didn't have such a big drop during the taper and was fine so maybe this is a strategically placed one to recover from borderline overtraining.

[–]Floormatt69 10 points11 points  (10 children)

If you take your resting heart rate right after waking up, and it's faster than normal (10+ bpm). That's usually a sign of overtraining

[–]rinzler83 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Or you could be becoming sick, dehydrated, didn't sleep well or numerous other things.

[–]onthelongrun -1 points0 points  (0 children)

being sick is a minor sign of overtraining, especially if it's more than once per training cycle.

[–]klethra 3 points4 points  (6 children)

Overreaching maybe. Overtraining is when your RHR goes back down, which is much worse.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

It seems like that'd be associated with significant fatigue, though, too, right?

[–]klethra 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Yes, but one is an acceptable way to train and the other is the manifestation of endocrine problems.

[–]damontoo 0 points1 point  (3 children)

What if I have bradycardia and my RHR is always low anyway? I would think a lower heart rate would be a good thing for distance running.

[–]klethra 2 points3 points  (2 children)

If your heart is no longer able to react to stress, that is not a good thing for your running.

[–]damontoo 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I've had bradycardia my entire life and it's not necessarily associated with poor cardio health. I'm not overweight and my diet is mostly vegetarian with some chicken breast and occasional pepperoni thrown in.

My RHR is in the low 40's which qualifies as bradycardia but is also in the acceptable range for very fit people. Athletes often have bradycardia because they have a very healthy cardiovascular system and the heart pumps more blood per stroke, meaning it doesn't need to beat as often.

[–]klethra 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Okay, great, so how exactly does this have anything to do with the premise I posted?

[–]seechelsearun 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Bingo. My coach in college had us take our RHR every single morning.

[–]portlandtiger 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Despite your hard work you can't sleep.

[–]aricringe 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Your pace is getting slower with each run, even though you’re pushing harder; your legs feel “heavy”, even on an easy run; resting heart rate higher than normal; your legs feel restless at night, and you can’t get to sleep easily.

It happened to me last summer. I’m a noob, so I ran tempo or race pace back to back for months. By the end of summer, my legs were CONSTANTLY heavy, and my pace ended up slowing down by 4 minutes! Still struggling to get back on board. Resist temptation to overtrain, it’s terribly not worth risking.

[–]inspectordino 2 points3 points  (0 children)

getting sick, not being able to recover from being sick, developing weird rashes that won't go away, minor injuries that won't heal

[–]teachersteve311 4 points5 points  (4 children)

An in injury such as tensinosis. It's taken over a year to recover.

[–]Deathduck 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I hate tendon issues. I'm trying to re over from an annoying now, do you have any uncommon advice that you learned while recovering?

[–]teachersteve311 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not sure about uncommon advice, but...

Listen to your body. Don't over do it. Don't take risks. I started taking a vitamin E supplement and ingesting anything with vitamin E. Ice and roll when you can, even if the (my) doctor said it won't help.

[–]seechelsearun 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have been taking fish oil, B12, and glucosamine/chondroitin, which seems to help quite a bit.

[–]rbevans 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This was it for me. Took about a year for me to recover.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (2 children)


[–]Cashatoo 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Where though?

[–]awkwardmantis 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Blood coming out of your eyes, your wherever.

[–]Vulcnar 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Man, this is a good thread for me. I'm still on the fence about overtraining myself. I'm doing my second half marathon in April and started training back in November to try to hit a nice PR. I'm trying to train for 8:00/mile pace and most long runs I'm doing at 9:00. After doing three long runs (10 miles) every Saturday I found myself unable to keep it up another week and only got to about 6 before I maxed out. It also seemed like my short 4-6 milers were 15-30 seconds slower per mile but took more out of me. I don't feel like I'm overtraining, but after taking 5 days off in a row I felt much better today. I completed 4 miles alternating between 7:00 and 10:00 pace every two minutes. Any advice for me?

[–]imjustbuzzed 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Make sure that after a few build or high-volume weeks, you dial it back a bit for a week and let your body recover. I'd suggest running slower and not as far during this week. Maybe 75% of the previous week's mileage. You might also consider doing a bit more recovery at home foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball to keep your legs fresh.

[–]TheOnlyCaveat 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I find that having 2 or more runs in a row, or 3 or more in a week where I'm just "not feeling it" generally comes right before I injure myself. Those runs happen once in a while for no good reason, but when they start happening frequently, it's a good sign that you're pushing your body too hard without adequate recovery.

[–]pxpc2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

pain and basically feeling miserable

[–]bonedoc59 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I tend to see stress fractures and tendinitis. I council the rule of tens. Slow progression rather than rapid

[–]MedRogue -1 points0 points  (0 children)

No such thing. Keep running till you die or pee blood.