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Help! Am I overtraining??? (Read 978 times)

    Ok everybody, hoping someone can help me figure out what is wrong with me. Training for the Boston marathon in April and really hoping to get my milage up and shoot for a sub 3 hour marathon. After doing a half marathon in November I took a week off and then started marathon training. I thought I was building my milage correctly and not killing myself. Was trying to follow a training plan, but life has gotten in the way to have me making up a lot of runs as I go. But the last two weeks (after coming back from losing a couple days due to an ankle sprain and a hamstring strain) I seem dead on my runs, I just can't get my pace down. Even on flat courses, it seems like I am working too hard for the pace I am keeping. Plus I just did a 5k where my time was slower the a month ago and much slowed then I was expecting I can't tell if I am overtraining or if this is normal for increasing my milage. I am in the mid 60s now, which should not be hard, as I have been well above this in the past Any suggestion on what I can do to get past this?

      Run slower on your easy runs--don't worry about getting your pace down on them.  It doesn't matter, and if your easy runs don't feel easy, you're not recovering adequately and are pushing too hard.  If that doesn't help, you might consider cutting back on volume.

       

      I'm a Pfitzinger and Maffetone guy, so maybe these will help you out:

       

      Are You Overtraining? (Pfitz)

       

      The Overtraining Detective (Pfitz)

       

      Sleep and Exercise (Pfitz)

       

      The Overtraining Syndrome (Maff)

      "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
      Emil Zatopek

        Cut back on the mileage a bit for a week or two and don't worry about pace. If you still feel bad after a couple of easy weeks then think about getting obvious things like anaemia checked out.

         

        In any case I wonder whether  you shouldn't consider doing some of your runs a bit more slowly? At least some of your runs should be just recovery runs and looking at your logs it seems that nothing is slow enough just to be for that purpose. For example Macmillan has 8:23-8:53/mile as recovery pace for a 3 hour marathoner.

          I'm nowhere close to being a 3:00 marathoner, but for what it's worth... I started a Daniels program a couple of weeks ago after plugging in my 20:35 from a recent 5K.  I found the suggested pace of 8:48 for easy runs uncomfortably slow, but for the first several weeks, I stuck to it, and my quality runs felt great and improved.  Lately I've been letting my easy run pace drift down into the 8:20 range and adding mileage at the same time.  This week I feel tired and my intervals today sucked.  So, maybe the advice above is good.


          Fat butt on couch

            I can't spot anything obvious from your log and the info you have given.

             

            You should never be forcing the pace on easy runs.  If you want to do certain mileage and hit certain workouts, let the pace fall where it may on easy runs in order to allow those priorities to happen.  As you gain fitness the pace should come back on its own.

             

            A good example would be the last 6-8 weeks in my log.  I was doing low mileage and my average weekly pace -- normally a meaningless number but let's go with it for now -- was in the 6:4X range.  Then I picked up the mileage, you'll see that at first my overall pace (and easy run pace if you look at individual workouts) did not suffer.  As I got further along with higher mileage and did not take time nor reduce workload for recovery, however, you see that my pace started slowing down to accomodate this.

             

            Right now you are most likely tired.  Overtraining is much more sinister.  Stop worrying about easy run pace and just keep the effort easy...take a couple true recovery days....see how it goes.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

                

              Right now you are most likely tired.  Overtraining is much more sinister.  Stop worrying about easy run pace and just keep the effort easy...take a couple true recovery days....see how it goes.

               

              Would you also agree that he needs to be careful about "making up a lot of runs as I go" because life is getting in the way? I've read that before, maybe it was Pfitz that said that in one of his books and I believe the Knobber has mentioned it before too.

               

              I guess when I read that, I took it as the OP would get that missed mileage or hard workout in that week reguardless of what the rest of the week looked like.

               

              The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

               

              2014 Goals:

               

              Stay healthy

              Enjoy life

               


              Fat butt on couch

                Would you also agree that he needs to be careful about "making up a lot of runs as I go" because life is getting in the way? 

                 

                Yes, I was going to comment on that phrase but I forgot.  Workouts are like sleep....once it's missed, you can't really "make it up" per se.  Just pick up where you left off and continue.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                 

                  Good thoughts above. It looks to me like you are about two weeks into your buildup. I think it's pretty common to be experiencing some fatigue at this point in training, and your race and long run are probably just reflecting that back to you. I don't think you should be too concerned. Take a day off, maybe back the miles down to 45ish this week, and you will be ready to go.

                    Thanks for the advice everybody, I am pretty obsessed with the milage. This plan has you running 7 days a week, something I typically don't do. Having on day off would allow me to miss a day without killing my schedule. Now when something comes up, I sometimes try to at least make up some of the distance on other days. I guess my plan is to take it easy for some time. Dial it back on the easy days so that i can go harder on the hard days. Hopefully that will get me back on track
                      Thanks for the advice everybody, I am pretty obsessed with the milage. This plan has you running 7 days a week, something I typically don't do. Having on day off would allow me to miss a day without killing my schedule. Now when something comes up, I sometimes try to at least make up some of the distance on other days. I guess my plan is to take it easy for some time. Dial it back on the easy days so that i can go harder on the hard days. Hopefully that will get me back on track

                       

                      Has stress in your life increased?

                      log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #141

                       


                      Fat butt on couch

                        This plan has you running 7 days a week, something I typically don't do. 

                         

                        Well, that right there may be part of your answer.  That will take time to adapt to.

                         

                        Also remember, plans are guidelines, not gospel.  A great plan is useless if you just break down under it.  It it's a bit too much, take a day off here and there if you think it's required.  Even when I was training most seriously, I forced myself to take one day off every third week.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          Ok everybody, hoping someone can help me figure out what is wrong with me. Training for the Boston marathon in April and really hoping to get my milage up and shoot for a sub 3 hour marathon. After doing a half marathon in November I took a week off and then started marathon training. I thought I was building my milage correctly and not killing myself. Was trying to follow a training plan, but life has gotten in the way to have me making up a lot of runs as I go. But the last two weeks (after coming back from losing a couple days due to an ankle sprain and a hamstring strain) I seem dead on my runs, I just can't get my pace down. Even on flat courses, it seems like I am working too hard for the pace I am keeping. Plus I just did a 5k where my time was slower the a month ago and much slowed then I was expecting I can't tell if I am overtraining or if this is normal for increasing my milage. I am in the mid 60s now, which should not be hard, as I have been well above this in the past Any suggestion on what I can do to get past this?

                          When you feel sluggish and can't seem to get the pace "in", there are two possibilities (in general).  One is, yes, over-training and you'll need to back off with QUALITY of training but maybe not necessarily quantity.  The other is you're just not getting a good rhythm.

                           

                          First thing you'll need to do is to check your resting heart rate.  If you hadn't really checked your "normal" RHR, well, then you're kinda screwed!! ;o)  But you should sorta know whether your HR is normal range (for you) or not.  Other signs of over-training is sense of thirst (I'd check it like first thing in the morning because your body sorta get used to it after a while) and sudden loss of body weight.  Again, the first thing in the morning would be the best time to check.  

                           

                          It can also be you're just "temporarily" lost the rhythm.  It actually happens a lot and, hate to say but, far too many "hobby runners" miss out the opportunity to step up to the next level by shying away from "pushing" a tad because most articles written are way too conservative and they ONLY talk about over-training and cutting back workout.  First of all, sometimes EASY JOGGING can go a long way and, if you keep it very, VERY slow, after an hour or so of easy jogging, it'll start to pick up.  But instead, they just simply take days off or still try to push the pace.  Neither would work.  You sort of need to be wrapped in a buoyant air bubble and nudged up to the next level.  Yeah, it's sort of a vague term but, once you experience it, you'll know what this mean.  

                           

                          My suggestion is; I'm assuming you have some sort of schedule that you'd been following.  Get that out, map out the DURATION of each day's workout, not mileage; and continue running to match that duration but hold back the pace way down.  Say, being a sub-3 pursuer, I'd say you're probably training around 7:30 or so per mile pace (sorry, I'm lazy to have checked your log)???  If so, bring it down to about 9 or so.  Just go for an easy jog but keep up the duration.  No quality workout for at least a week.  If you're in a warmer climate, hop on a local track, or measure out a 5k course on the flat road, preferably map out each half a mile or so so you can keep track of your pace; run EVEN-PACED tempo run for, oh, for a sub-3-er, 6:00-6:20 pace???  Good solid and even effort.  No pushing too hard (adjust your pace according to your level), no sprinting at the end to meet the goal time; just steady even pace effort.  If necessary, repeat this week-schedule one more time.

                           

                          You have, what, 14 weeks till Boston.  You still have plenty of time but it's sort of crucial--if you slacken, thinking you've over-done it, then you may lose a very critical training period; if you over-do it, pushing ignoring the signs, then you'll go even further down.  So evaluating which case you are is very very critical.  Have your daily information (HR, weight, etc.) is very very critical.   

                           

                          Just to give you a rough example (a bit different schedule); once time, yeeeeeeears ago, I felt sluggish and felt I over-did it.  I did a 30k (18-mile) run 3 days in a row.  First one took me something like 2:09, the second one was toughest, took me something like 2:12 and I was struggling.  Last one I was flying in something like 2:05.  I was flying in the following weeks.  Actually, John Walker used to do this too but also he did, if he couldn't get a good 10-miler at good clip, he would step on a track and had a 12-laps at good clip.  This is something we call "knock yourself in shape" and far too many people don't even do that because they mix up, what Spaniel explained, temporary tiredness and "over-training" or chronic fatigue. Same way far too many people mix up growing pain and injury.