If you’re just about to jump into a vigorous training program for a big race, you can’t afford to be sidelined by injury, pain and fatigue.

Before you dive in for the long haul, it’s important to know the signs of overtraining so you can ensure the journey is a healthy, happy and successful.

Here are 6 easy telltale signs of overtraining:


  1. Your muscles are sore for prolonged periods of time.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the build-up of lactic acid in muscles and usually kicks in around 24-48 hours after exercise. It should last around 2-3 days, any longer and you know the muscles are having trouble recovering.


  1. You pick up every bug, cold and flu going around.

If you’re constantly sick and tired there’s a good chance your immune system is on the floor. Overtraining is likely pushing your body to the limits and you need to give it some time to rest and strengthen.


  1. Lack of motivation

If you can’t focus on your work, you can’t be bothered playing with the kids and you can’t get your butt off the lounge to enjoy your other hobbies then your body is giving you signs that you need to back off.


  1. Mood changes

When the body has had enough your overall mood starts to shift. If you’re suddenly feeling more anxious and agitated, your body may be suffering from overtraining.


  1. Increase in injuries

Shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, runner’s knee and hamstring strains are signs that you’re overdoing it. Continuing to train on these niggles without proper management will only mean long-term injuries.


  1. Your normal sleep patterns are disrupted

There are two ways your sleep rhythms can be affected by overtraining. 1. You’re oversleeping. When you’re alarm goes off you can barely open your eyes, your legs feel like concrete and your head is heavy. 2. You can’t fall asleep and stay asleep. Your body is constantly wired and over-stimulated from training.


If you answered yes to any of the above it’s time to consider taking a short period of time off the heavy lifting. Don’t see it as a step-back; see it as a step towards your goal and long-term health.