Sounds like a complete joke, right? Why would you ever end up over-exercising? For some people, it takes everything in them to get to the gym and just make it through a workout, much less enjoy it. For me? It takes everything in me not to workout on a day to day basis. I plan my schedules and choose wake up calls based on my workout for the day. I don’t not do things because I need to get a workout in, but I do try to schedule a workout in at a different time.
I thought my body was a champ and only needed one rest day a week. I thought I was feeding it the nutrition it needed to keep going. I thought I was doing everything right. But, I wasn’t. In fact, I missed out on a lot of signs.
When I first had pain in my foot, I should have stopped running. Unfortunately, I didn’t because I enjoy it, feel great after it, and knew I was training for a race in a few weeks.
When I first started feeling more tired after workouts, I should have stopped, but I didn’t. I might take it easy the rest of the night, though.
When I first started losing motivation, I should have thought about why.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do any of the above, leading me to this topic.
These are all simple signs that you could totally be missing. In fact, I did. I used to not take any rest days, and it wasn’t until this year that I started taking them once a week. I have become better at listening to my body, but still have a hard time taking the measures to do what it actually is telling me, like I mentioned above. It took until a really bad run the other day, and a really bad night after, to finally listen.
1. Instead of gaining energy, you are completely exhausted- I laid on the couch for 2 hours after my run without being able to get up. I was completely wiped out; actually felt like I ran a half marathon instead of 4 miles!
2. You sleep too much, or aren’t sleeping enough- I went to bed by 9 on Tuesday, and didn’t wake up until 6:15. I never need that much sleep, but I was done for and couldn’t stay away on Tuesday. Typically, I aim for bed at 10 and a wake up at 5:30, but neither of those have been happening lately. It’s been closer to 9:30 to 6:30/7 lately.
3. You have heavy legs- Not just my legs, everything. My 4 mile run should have been a breeze, but it wasn’t. I felt like I wasn’t moving, and 4 miles is a (relatively) easy mileage day for me. Pretty much every part of me had to hurt for me to realize something wasn’t right.
4. Sore for days- I have been feeling more achy than I usually do (not necessarily sore), and have done workouts that shouldn’t leave me sore, leave me sore. I’ve also noticed my strength for workouts has decreased, as in it’s harder to lift what I typically do easily.
5. You feel unmotivated- Motivation is key for workouts, and even people who love it still need some. My motivation has gone out the window. I have been doing the workouts, but just because I have a schedule saying I need to. I haven’t really enjoyed them, and have thought many times about cuddling up with a book instead of working out after school. However, I don’t do this, and this would be why choosing to take time off is just plain hard.
6. You are unhappy, or more moody- I wouldn’t say I am moody or unhappy, at all. I have a great life, and love my little family at home. The only thing making me unhappy was knowing something was wrong and what I needed to do to fix it!
Looking at everything I just wrote, it is so ridiculous that I missed all of these signs earlier, when an extra day of rest may have been all I needed. Sometimes our bodies just need a break to get back to normal, which is ok! No one says you have to be go-go-go all the time. It’s ok to take a break. In fact, it helps your body more than hurts it. What I do for workouts in a week is not like anyone else. What my body takes as too much may be barely what anyone else does (like a marathoner, ultramarathoner, ironman, etc), or way more than someone else. Each of our bodies are different, and we need to listen to ourselves. Looking at the above symptoms and saying yes to one or two isn’t likely meaning you are overtraining. You need to be serious with yourself, and do what you think your body needs. I chose to take off the remainder of the week from working out (since Tuesday), run my race on Saturday (The Color Run, which I will take easy and have fun), and see where I am then. It’s really unlike me to take this many days off, especially since I do have a race in a few weeks, but I am confident this will only make me better. Can’t run a car on empty, right? Well, the same is true to our bodies, and right now, I’m on empty!
Maybe you’ve never felt like this, or maybe you have. Maybe you learned something new today! It won’t be easy for me to go without working out, but I am itching for the motivation to come back, the runs to be easy, and me to enjoy it again! If it takes a few days off to do this, it’s well worth it! Now if you excuse me, I’m off to take it easy on the couch!
Side note: I don’t plan on being a lazy person for the next few days. I will continue with all my daily functions, but won’t add intense workouts onto it.
How about you? Is it easy to listen to your body?
How many rest days do you take a week?
Ever had this happen to you?
I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. These are all things happening to my body, so I’m doing something about it. Remember, we are all different, so please don’t judge yourself based on me!