Monday, July 26, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
I had a comment a few days ago from Ruby Dragon asking about my experience with overtraining syndrome (OTS) since it seems she is going through the same thing. There is information out on the web, but not a lot of accounts of what happens during overtraining syndrome. This is a long post and many may or may not find it useful...but hopefully it might help someone who is going through it. OTS is hard because it just levels you after being so active.
Last year in May I got a little over trained. Classic HR too high when it shouldn't be and too low when it should be high. I remember being on a run where I couldn't keep my HR over 120bpm...and I was running at a good clip. And I was tired. And I was cranky. And I was in the middle of training for Vineman 70.3 and we realized I need to back off. So I did for a little bit. Few extra days of rest. Fluids. Good healthy eating and I was right as rain. All was well. That is sorta the 'normal' situation when us triathletes get a 'little' overtrained. But it does happen...the super chronic form of OTS
- Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
- Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Sudden drop in performance
- Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
- Decrease in training capacity / intensity
- Moodiness and irritability
- Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
- Decreased appetite
- Increased incidence of injuries.
- A compulsive need to exercise
Here was my progression. I found this in my training comments. This is why taking notes for training can be important. I kept a weekly journal for my coach at the time and so this isn't how i felt ALL week, just on one or two particular days within a week.
Week of Jan 18th “Slept in a long time. Very 'heavy' when I woke up. Slightly dehydrated so I ate breakfast and drank a bit of fluids hoping my body would respond so i could run ok. Warmed up for 10 minutes, got through my running drills and was utterly exhausted. Ended up walking back to the car and not running any more.”
Week Feb 1st “body wasn't feeling much more than an aerobic pace, but speed was very encouraging for going aerobic/not really feeling it pace.”
Week of Feb 8th I was swimming like a rock still after the weekend when I felt like lead all weekend.
Week of Feb 15th Sunday: woke up feeling sick...not a cold, just upset stomach, low energy.
...did see the stress 'show up' on Tuesday when I was running and running REALLY SLOW. Last week stress + less sleep + poor nutrition the night before = slow.
Week of Feb 22nd woke up EXHAUSTED...got a 4 mile run mixed with some walking in, but was supposed to do 75mins but couldn't drag myself out of bed early enough due to my exhuastion. My level of exhuastion on Sunday was actually concerning.
I may have a few clues to my lack of recovery that i'm trying to square away but this has been happening more frequently than it ever did before. For some reason
I'm a bit frustrated at the moment because it seems that when my energy levels are good...things are starting to 'click' and come together but I have been having an equally hard time recovering from some of my long rides but it doesn't feel like my muscles are pushed and are exhausted...i am just tired. Like i might wake up from 8-9 hours of sleep but i feel exhuasted and drained. I am sure it is a combination of many things... work, travel and training... But the weird part is one day I have a ton of energy and the next i won't. Sunday i felt miserable all day long, tired, headachy, horrible. But this morning I woke up with a ton of energy bouncing off the walls. I seem to be either full of energy or not and it is pretty extreme on both sides.
Week of March 1st...Raced this week and it was sort of the beginning of the end
had major energy melt down last week. I'm sure everything else that is going on in my life with work and travel isn't helping...but i think there is possibly something else going on. Underlyingly i feel like i have a lot of energy...my body is not tired from training...i'm just exhusted in general. If that makes sense. I have the energy underlyingly to do everything, but i am battling with a desire to sleep all the time.
Week of March 8th
Considering how I felt all week I hope the tests show something conclusive because I was dragging and extremely exhausted and generally feeling rotten, much worse than the week before.
I did half of my TT on Wed only to be so completely exhausted on Thursday (even with 9 hours of sleep) that I had to come home early and take a nap.
Week of March 29th
This week was marginal. Traveling on top of this fatigue i think really wore me out. In some aspects I am feeling better. My biggest problem with all this fatigue is that it is a HUGE paradigm shift for me to have to focus on not having a go-go-go mentality. Which is hard for me. I'm doing ok...and trying to be ok with it all...but it's not mentally easy either.
Week of April 5th First D.N.S
Sunday: I woke up, got ready, ate and was getting ready to pack my car when I could tell that if I raced i was going to dig myself a HUGE hole that would take a LONG time to get out of. It was a really hard decision not to race this morning, but after I went back to bed and woke up 4.5 hours later, still very tired, I knew I had made the right choice. I had wanted to come down and cheer everyone on, but was still really exhausted when I woke up.
Still pretty lethargic which makes me less motivated since it takes so much emotional energy to do much of anything
sports medicine doctor thinks it is 'over-training syndrome' and I'm to check back with him in a month and keep my activity 'in check' in the meantime basically meaning if it makes me too tired it was too much.
still fatigued and pretty apathetic towards training most of the time still...but that seems to be a negative feedback loop of being fatigued and being frustrated that i'm tired and then just not wanting to do anything because it usually makes me pretty tired.
That night...Went to the ER...couldn't stop throwing up for no real reason at all. Took DAYS to recover from. Not really related to OTS, but showed how fragile my body was...it was just freaking out all the time.
May: The pit of despair.
Basically in May, I cancelled a lot of bike ride. I slept in a lot. I was unmotivated a lot. And I tried to just focus on other things a lot. I tried not to let the nagging thoughts of 'will I ever'...what if and all of that eat me alive. It was hard to tell people over and over: I just can't. My body just can't.
It hurt. Recovering from 2 hour bike rides required equally long naps. I wanted to sleep all the time. I probably still didn't sleep enough. More out of apathy than out of not doing it.
First bike ride that didn’t wipe me out
Consistency starting to come back...key...not to push.
Kettlebell classes have started and 3 weeks of learning.
Trying not to drink coffee anymore.
Realized coffee basically makes me 'high'...talk about a norepinephirine rush. No wonder my poor adreanals hate me.
Next week...first week of some actual consistent higher heart rates.
So while I am slowly on the mend, I also know I'm not totally out of the woods either. I'll admit it. I'm gun shy at the moment. I'm about to start kettle bell training in more 'full effect' and have a nagging worry that I'll stop recovering again. But...i have to try.
I say this as 'part 1'...as I think i have some other thoughts on the topic. But..well...i'm tired. Maybe later.