Tag Archives: overtraining

4 Ways to Keep Training Fun

Training for a big event can be stressful, exhausting and financially draining.  Sometimes it feels like all you’re doing to training, eating, working and, hopefully, sleeping.  When training kepp training funbecomes a drag it can negatively affect your performance.  Here are four ways to keep training fun and reach your goals.

Focus or refocus.  Get focused on what your goal is.  Maybe it needs to change.  Make sure you established an attainable goal to begin with.  If you’re training for a marathon and you dread that next long run it might be time to think about switching to the half.  Taking the pressure off and revisiting your original goal later will give you a chance to figure out what you’re really in it for without risking injury.

Relax.  Odds are there won’t be someone waiting at the finish with a check to reward you for all the hard work.  Don’t take your training too seriously.  Remember to laugh.  Keep training fun by taking it lightly.  Yes, it’s good for you but your life doesn’t depend on completing that Ironman.  A sprint tri and a few cocktails with friends is probably better.  Balance your workouts with everyday life things, not worrying about missed sessions or that last split.

Race more.  Adding a few 5k races to your marathon training plan or a duathlon to your Olympic triathlon schedule will give you a break from your routine, give you a chance to gauge your progress and hang out with some other runners.  Find a race here to keep training fun, there’s one every weekend!

Change sports.  Have you been running and running and running so much it’s a chore?  Maybe your body and mind are craving something else.  Try hitting the weight room or a month of spinning classes.  Just like rechecking your goal, switching up the main activity you practice or learning something new can be just what your body and mind need to keep training fun and avoid overtraining.

Use these tips to keep training fun for the entire length of your program and hit your next fitness goal with ease.

Coach Meredith

4 Ways to Steer Clear of Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining syndrome is easy to catch and hard to shake.  With new year’s resolutions, goals and dreams in full swing this season, it’s especially something to be careful to avoid.  When you’re starting a new routine there are a few things to take seriously so you can avoid being forced to take an unwanted break from working out due to to overtraining syndrome.

Overtraining syndrome occurs when the body is exercised at a frequency and intensity that exceed its recovery time.  How can you tell if you’re over training?  The results of overtraining can include exhaustion, a loss of progress in both strength and cardiovascular fitness and injury.  Feeling sluggish after a workout instead of energized and having disrupted sleep patterns are also symptoms.  If you’ve been overtraining, take enough time off to heal fully even it seems like forever.  Of course, the best way to treat overtraining is to avoid it in the first place.  Here are 4 ways to prevent it from sabotaging your plans for the new year.

1)  Food is fuel.  Make sure your diet isn’t the reason workouts aren’t going well.  Eat enough calories to give you the energy you need to get through the day and replenish post workout.   Stick with quality whole foods and remember that the what you put in is what you get out.overtraining syndrome

2)  Mix it up.  Your body needs constant change to keep adapting, getting stronger and improving.  If you start to lose motivation or get bored, throw something new into your routine.  Try a spin class or kick boxing while alternating hard and easy days to give yourself excitement and variety.

3)  Take recovery and rest days seriously.  Your next workout is only as good as your last recovery.  If you’re not foam rolling or hitting mobility drills each day your body is going to get worn out quickly.  Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise and not giving your body enough time to recover from strenuous exercise will inevitably cause fatigue, moodiness, and injury.  Take at least one day a week away from the gym or running and be serious about it.  Use the rest day(s) to replenish the things your body has burned through, like carbohydrates, proteins, fluids and sleep.

4)  Listen to your body.  Still feeling sluggish four days after a hard workout?  Are your knees or shoulders hurting more than they should?  Is soreness sticking around beyond two days?  Is your performance slipping?  These are all signals your body gives to let you know it needs a break.  An extra day or two or five off won’t ruin the gains you’ve made.  Take the time to recover your body is asking for and you’ll not only feel better, but come back to better results.

Coach Meredith

Get Out of Your Running Rut

A running rut can happen to anyone.  These easy to avoid pitfalls are common when the dog days of August of arrive.  It can be hard to get out there and hit the trails, pavement or treadmill when it’s hot or humid and you’re thinking more about back to school than exercise.  If you dread lacing up your running shoes or see a run you used to look forward to the schedule but now view with dismay, don’t worry.  You might have fallen into a running rut and you’re not alone!

Everyone from recreational, running because I love it and for my health joggers to marathon winning, record holding professional runners are susceptible to the infamous running rut.  If you find yourself in a mind over matter battle each time you slide on those once loved running shoes, you’re likely in your own running rut.  That’s not a fun place to be.  Here are five tips from Team FitNice to help you dig out of that running rut and stay excited about getting going.running rut

Get off the treadmill.  More affectionately known by many as the dreadmill, treadmill running can be a boring a way to get those miles in. The scenery doesn’t change much, you could be stuck next to that guy who listens to his ‘personal’ music device so loudly you can feel the base and there are only so many TV options. Mixing up your scenery and surface by heading outside can be a great refresher for both your mind and body.

Make a new playlist.  It’s been shown that music can have a big effect on your workout, improving performance by up to 15%.  Find the right stuff and you’re sure to rock it.  End up with something that makes you want to hit the hay and you’ll lack motivation from step one.  Songs with 120 beats per minute (BPM) are great for a jog, those with 150 work for tempo runs and crank it up to 170 BPM for some speed work.

Try another time.  Hitting the pavement at the same time every morning, or evening, means you’ll likely see the same people walking the same dogs while taking the same kids to the bus stop every time you’re out.  Like the dreadmill, this can get boring.  Try mixing it up by running at a different time of day.  Late evenings are great during the summer.  The sun is going down, everything is cooling off and you might get a wiff of what your neighbors are grilling for dinner.

Check out a new route.  Even if you have to run at the same time every week day, you can always go in a different direction.  Running a different course can pick up your spirits while giving your mind something new to focus on. Websites like Map My Run have thousands of routes prepared for you, which is especially great for sightseeing and exploring when you’re traveling to a new spot. Some people have even started to use similar apps to draw pictures, check some out here (warning: not appropriate for all runners), to ward off the threat of a running rut.

Make sure it’s not overtraining or an injury.  If you think it could be either of these, take a break and consider making a doctor’s appointment.  Too much of a good thing can leave you not wanting more. Not only could this be your body’s way of telling you enough is enough, it could signal you need a new race distance or a new challenge. Evaluate both the mental and physical reasons you might be in a running rut, take a deep breath then give your mind and body what they need to get back on track as soon as you can.

Want help preventing falling into or getting out of your running rut?  Ask us!  Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.

How to Overcome a Bad Workout

Everybody has bad days.  Sometimes they start when you get out of bed, but others wait until after lunch, or even once you’ve begun to exercise.  Exercise increases the amount of endorphins in your blood stream, lowering the body’s perception of pain and acting as a sedative.  Getting your endorphins flowing with a little hard work can pull you right up out of the dumps, especially if you’re already in the midst of a rough day, because hitting the gym can be a great way to relieve stress and clear your head.  Bad days might mean you tried to take on the wrong kind of workout.  Are you someone who likes group exercise, but was running late and decided to go it on your own, with miserable results?  Are you stressing out about something or feeling rushed?  Is it hot and humid outside?  Are you injured?  The answers to these questions can solve most bad gym day problems.  The last thing you want to have is a bad workout or let it ruin your otherwise lovely day, so here are several surefire ways to deal with a workout that isn’t going your way.

Get enough sleep.  Sleep allows your body time to heal from the last gym session or just daily life.  Having a bad night, or a night without enough sleep, can wreak havoc on your body and suck out tons of the energy you plan on using in the gym.  One great thing about sleep is the human body’s ability to catch up on it.  When skipping a meal, your body misses out, and eating more later won’t make it better.  Losing out on a few hours of sleep during the week, however, can be fixed right up with a night or two of twelve hours of rest.  While this shouldn’t be a regular practice, and seven to eight hours a night are recommended for most people, it’s good to know there’s a reason you want, and are allowed, to sleep in on Sunday morning.

Eat right.  If you read our Balanced Diet Series, you know what and how much to eat on a daily basis.  Giving your body the right type of fuel for the workout you have planned is just as, if not more, important than getting enough sleep.  Whole grains and less sugar will aid in preventing the exhaustion many people face an hour or two after lunch.  Make sure you are properly hydrated before, during and after your session and watch out for caffeine intake, which can wake your body up for a workout, or push it over the limit and cause nausea and shakiness.

Have good goals.  The gym can be intimidating with lots of equipment, free weights, classes going on and people who look like they know what they’re doing much more than you do.  They probably don’t.  Those who have efficient, organized workouts have a plan.  They most likely have a schedule based on the day of the week, a set order they perform exercises in, and a specific goal in mind.  The best way to overcome the fear of workout failure is to have a goal.  Write it down.  Look at it every single day.  Get together with a fitness professional and discuss both your goal and a path to reach it.  Not only will this keep you focused and on track, it prevents boredom and provides a support system in the gym on a daily basis, which is especially nice on those frustrating days.

Beware of over training.  Ensure you use a variety of equipment and styles so your body doesn’t get overloaded.  Try alternating weight lifting days with cardio days, and always leave at least one day per week for complete rest and recovery.  If you start feeling worn down, unusually sore, grouchy, or dreading the gym, it might be time for a few extra days off.  Listen to what your body tells you and take what it’s saying seriously.

Throw in the towel.  An extra day off to let your body recover won’t wreck all the work you’ve already done, and it pays to listen up when your body says ‘no’.  Bounce around, doing one set of a bunch of different exercises, or choose three of your favorites, do a few sets and call it a day.

Now that you’ve used your bad workout to learn things about the best, and most fun, way for you to workout, get going!  Try something new, or take some time to recover.  No matter what you choose, stick with a fitness program that works for you.

Tips to Avoid Over Training

It’s summertime.  Everyone wants to be in shape for the season, but be careful.  Working too hard for results can cause problems.  Over training happens when the body is exercised at a frequency and intensity that exceed its recovery time.  The results from over training can include exhaustion, a loss of progress in both strength and cardiovascular fitness, and injury.  How can you tell if you’re over training?  If you’re hurt, take time off to recover fully.  Heading back into the gym the first day you feel 100% will lead to re-injury, longer required recovery time, and more frustration.  Feeling sluggish and fatigued rather than energized after a workout is your body telling you whatever you’ve been doing is too much.  Likewise, exercising improves sleep patterns, and if you’re having trouble sleeping, too much gym time could be the cause.

Solutions to over training are simple:

1)  Eat for energy.  Make sure diet isn’t the culprit and you’re getting enough carbohydrates to power your workout regimen.

2)  Mix it up.  Throw something new into your routine, cross-train while alternating hard and easy days.  Usually spend half an hour on the treadmill?  Jump in the pool or climb on a spin bike instead.

3)  Take rest days seriously.  Rest is just as important as exercise, and not giving your body enough time to recover from strenuous exercise will inevitably cause fatigue, moodiness, and injury.  Take at least one day a week away from the gym or running and be serious about it.  Use the rest day(s) to replenish the things your body has burned through, like carbohydrates, proteins and fluids.

4)  Listen to your body.  Still feeling sluggish four days after a hard workout?  Are your knees or shoulders hurting more than they should?  Is soreness sticking around after two days?  Is your performance slipping?  These are all signals your body gives to let you know it needs a break.  Take the time to recover your body is asking for, and you’ll not only feel better, but workout better too.