What is overtraining?
Studies of overtraining are pointing to following courses:
- Overtraining is a reaction from your muscles when the training exceeds the need for resting periods
- Overtraining is often registered within endurance sports and weightlifting
- Overtraining often occurs when you simultaneously are exposed to physical and psychological stressors for a longer period of time
- The stress hormone "Cortisol" is elevated for longer periods
Longer periods of stress to your body demands physical and psychological relaxation
A lot of training is normally what it takes to become a really good athlete and is completely normal in a structured training program. The amount has to be adjusted to your priority that cycling has to you, but if you want to be good it demands a big effort from your side.
To train so hard that your muscles hurt after training is often a necessity, but if you do not give your muscles a rest afterwards the soreness continues for days. Even small warning signs from your body when you get into a good rythm of hard training is easily detected.
Training with intervals, rest days and endurance training in the right proportions gives results and make you want to train even more. But if you continue beyond the point where the muscles cannot recover from a tough training day before you start the next hard training day, then the recovery time will simply be further extended.
If the intensive training is continued without required rest, the recovery period will not only be extended, but the effects of the hard training are of no value whatsoever. Even loss of power physical as well as psychological is a natural outcome and is defined as overtraining.
Even untrained bike riders who do not do a lot of training can experience overtraining, as overtraining shows itself when you train more than the body is ready to train. On the other hand, overtraining is also an impending risk for a person who trains a lot, as it can be difficult to distinguish between regular soreness in the muscles and a little overtraining.
It is important for both trained and untrained athletes to take your point of departure, your level, your history and build on this.