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What is overtraining?

You demand more from your body (physically and/or mentally) than it can handle.

There are three forms of overtraining

Mechanical overtraining

Physical overload. For example: muscle injuries and tendon injuries. Muscle strain. But also too low iron content.

Metabolic overtraining

This form of overtraining is a disruption of the energy metabolism: rapid muscle fatigue during exercise. This is caused by insufficient repair and replenishment of glycogen stores. After every heavy training there is more or less a metabolic overtraining.

Overtraining Syndrome

Also called burnout. the hormone balance, autonomic nervous system and behavior are upset. Often does a lot of stress (private life and work) play a major role at the time of origin. There is also often a chronic metabolic overtraining.

Symptoms of overtraining

Below is a checklist in random order (they can be checked).

Has your resting heart rate increased by 5-10 beats?
Has your performance level dropped?
Is it more difficult for you to complete the workout?
More muscle and weight stiffness?
Are you more susceptible to disease?
Is your weight dropping?
More sleeping problems?
Is there little variety in your workouts?
Do you recover less quickly?
Do you often dread a workout?
Are you more annoyed?
Are you less motivated?

If the first questions are checked often, this may indicate metabolic overtraining. Are the last questions especially often checked, this indicates an overtraining syndrome.

Causes of overtraining


Should it ever (overtraining can develop faster than you thinks) come this far, then the cause must first be found and be addressed thereafter.

Mechanical overtraining

For the treatment of this physical overload, rest and, if necessary, treatment by a physiotherapist.

Metabolic overtraining

If there is metabolic overtraining are a few days of rest and then a calm build-up of the training size is often sufficient for a quick recovery and replenishment of the glycogen stock.

Overtraining Syndrome

In the treatment of overtraining syndrome, (much) more time. The training load will have to be significantly reduced for a period that can sometimes last several months. Also more mental relaxation will be necessary.


Prevention is of course always better than to heal. Care for this reason for a good training plan (watch you recovery between the different trainings well and care for sufficient variety). In the year training plans are also quiet periods incorporated. Train for this reason after a number of races less hard. Use a training logbook. Listen to your body and do what with the information. Change your feeding: take for example after a heavy training extra carbohydrates. Change you training plan as overtraining threatens.