Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining

A growing trend of health and wellness has been a focus the last few years and brought new challenges of overdoing exercise rather than not enough!

So how does a person recognize the signs and symptoms of when to cross train, sleep more or take a break?

 The most common signs are:

- Consistently drained, lacking energy/tired
- Mild soreness, general aches that do not show improvement given short durations of rest
- Drop in performance measured consistently over days/weeks
- Insomnia
- Headaches
- Decreased immunity and prone to sickness
- Moodiness / Irritability
- Depression
- Loss of motivation
- Prone to more injuries

“While there are many proposed ways to objectively test for overtraining, the most accurate and sensitive measurements are psychological signs and symptoms and changes in an athlete's mental state. Decreased positive feelings for sports and increased negative feelings, such as depression, anger, fatigue, and irritability often appear after a few days of intensive overtraining. Studies have found increased ratings of perceived exertion during exercise after only three days of overload.”


- Rest and recovery / given a length of days or weeks
- Hydration
- Sleep
- Cross train – differing the stimulation with different stress loading

Of note: if you have are an individual who trains by themselves then it is far easier to document heart rates, resting and recovery along with strength measurements and keeping track. If there is a consistency downward trend then you are able to have earlier recognition to change your training regime; with this, in mind, you can not only avoid overtraining but the peak for an event if planned accordingly.

Laura Hobson