Once a person commits themselves to reaching that distant finish line, it becomes easy to over-look or ignore symptoms of Ironman triathlon over-training.
For many triathletes there can be a mind-set that resting too much means you will somehow lose all that you have gained.
Of course that’s not true. In most cases, rest is your friend, and giving your body time to re-group and re-build is often the best possible thing you can do.
No matter how fit you think you are, or how tough and durable you think you are, there is a breaking point……a point of diminishing returns.
Here are a few symptoms of Ironman triathlon over-training to look out for:
INJURIES OCCUR MORE FREQUENTLY
Sometimes injuries can appear minor and you can train right through them and eventually they might even go away.
After all, you are training for an Ironman and you have to be tough. Right?
In most cases this is your body throwing out warning signs and if you ignore them long enough a minor injury can quickly become chronic and have a huge impact on your training and racing.
YOU GET COLDS AND FLU’S MORE OFTEN
Most people get a cold or flu now and then and that’s fairly normal. You may even go a year or two and never get a cold.
However, if you get several colds and flu’s over the course of a year, it could be a sign that over-training and lack of rest is stressing your immune system.
This can leave you vulnerable to a host of common illnesses that are not normally a problem for you.
A LOSS OF FOCUS AND MOTIVATION
You can’t figure it out.
Your desire to reach the Ironman finish line has not diminished one bit, but still you seem to lack motivation to keep up the training.
In most cases that’s because you are forcing yourself to keep to a training schedule regardless of how tired and run-down you are becoming.
A training schedule should be a guide-line and not written in stone.
If you feel great with a scheduled rest day coming up, perhaps train for an extra day instead. If you feel tired with a work-out scheduled, take an extra rest day.
There is no need to be a slave to your training program. It makes far more sense to listen you your body and let it set the tone for your training.
There can be far more serious consequences from over-training month after month, and year after year.
Hopefully you never let it get this far, because basically your body is just throwing in the towel and a complete rebellion is underway.
If you begin to have dizzy spells, blurry vision, digestive problems, serious fatigue, tinnitus, tingling sensations in your face and arms, metallic taste in your mouth, or insomnia, you have most likely pushed your body too far.
Adrenal fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue are all part of a grey area when it comes to medicine.
Even doctors may not have the answers. You can take every blood test under the sun and they will most likely all come back negative.
Your doctor may say, everything is great!”
But if that’s the case, why do you feel as bad as you do?
This is one of the dangers of over-doing it when it comes you your Ironman training.
However the good news is that it’s completely avoidable. It’s as simple as letting your body be your guide and making rest just as important a component as your swimming, biking, and running.
Make rest an important part of your training program and not something that is an after-thought and a hindrance to your progress.
I’m no doctor, but like everything else on my Ironstruck website, I am passing along what I have learned out on the Ironman Highway and over three decades of involvement in endurance races.
I firmly believe that experience will always be the best teacher.
I have dealt with every one of those symptoms I just mentioned and seven years ago, it ended my triathlon and running career.
There are still no answers despite dozens of doctors who continue to say, “All your tests are negative, you’re in great shape.”
If that’s the case, why is it so hard just to make it through a day of work, let alone train for a race of any distance?
There is no doubt in my mind that I brought this on myself. I absolutely pushed my body to the breaking point year after year, and finally paid the price.
Don’t let this happen to you.
A person who takes up triathlon at forty years old can have a career that takes them into their 70’s if they look at the big picture and pay attention to the warning signs of over-training.
As for myself, I believe for every down there is an up, for every minus there is a plus, and for every yin there is a yang.
Had I not been forced to give up triathlon, Ironstruck.com would not exist. There would not have been five books to inspire and motivate others.
I would have been far too busy training.
I would simply not have had time or the inclination to pass on all that I have learned in order to help others around the world can become more than they ever thought possible.
Yet still, I have to admit that I miss the Ironman highway. I miss being out there with a few thousand other Pilgrims on the great quest.
I miss crossing the Ironman triathlon finish line.
And I especially miss waking up the morning after the race and realizing that I had accomplished something very special.