On (Over)Training

The Broad Street Run is this Sunday! And I may be overtrained! But, it’s an improvement from lacking confidence, which is how I felt before the brain trust that I consulted reframed my ailments determined that I was overtrained.

And coincidentally, the local forecast spewed out this:

Just so we’re clear, I’m potentially “overtrained” for someone who’s doing essentially the couch to 10-miler. I don’t really run in the winter, nor do I train for spring races longer than 10K.

I realized two Sundays ago that I managed to write in my calendar some random training plan that had me logging 2 to 4 extra miles per week for the last month than I intended. And not surprisingly (in retrospect), for the last month, I have been complaining to a lucky group of people about how recovery is taking longer than it did 10 years ago. My legs started feeling tired at mile 4 of my runs and crushed by mile 6. Walking up the three flights to my office left me winded. Holding a Warrior 2 in yoga left my quads quivering.

It was demoralizing, and I was convinced that the last trip around the sun did a number on me. I tried eating more protein and sleeping more. And then I realized that I wasn’t even following a training plan.

I don’t know my regular resting heart rate and whether it’s become elevated, so really, I don’t have any measure of whether I’m overtrained. And there’s a certain level of weirdness to referring to myself as “overtrained” when I’m nowhere near peak-for-me speed. But it’s a reasonable explanation for my ailments.

It’s all relative.

Now there’s a rain event of ark-building proportions this week = forced rest for someone who does not have access to a treadmill, although I do plan to get out later this week to shake out the legs.

And yeah, for me, having things reframed as “overtrained” has actually helped my lack of confidence. Let’s face it: legs regularly dying at 10K when training for 10M is not inspiring. But with my brain in a different frame of mine, I’m looking forward to heading up I-95 to Broad Street.

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