QT: Suggestions to Help Avoid Overtraining/Under Recovery

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So, is overtraining a thing or no?

Are Runners Stupid?

After last week’s QT talking about whether overtraining or under recovery is the actual problem, I want to get into some ways to avoid overtraining/under recovery.

Because whatever we ultimately call it, it is a thing that we’d rather not have to deal with.

Is It Really That Complicated?

If over training is an issue, then wouldn’t the solution be to simply train less?

And if the problem is actually under recovery, then just recover more!

Don't Think You Need a Running Coach?

In theory, maybe those solutions would work.

But here in the real world?

Let’s not kid ourselves, telling a runner to run less is goes over like a lead balloon.

And recover more?

J Law

Like, what does recover more even mean?

Cooperation Makes It Happen

The best way, in my mind, to avoid overtraining or under recovery is to do a little bit of both.

Run Easy, Most of the Time

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to run less to avoid overtraining.

Shoot, depending on your running goals, running more might be a key piece of the puzzle to help you move forward.

Either way, if you’re pushing too hard with most the time overtraining becomes a concern.

Especially if you’re bumping up your mileage.


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Sleep is King

There’s no better recovery tool than a good night of sleep.

In a perfect world, we’d all get so much quality sleep that we could run all the miles without worry of overtraining.

But alas, the world is far from perfect.

If you can get more sleep, start there.

You can also work on improving the quality of your sleep by modifying some lifestyle factors.

No caffeine after early afternoon. Avoid alcohol after dinner. Get off your phone an hour before you go to bed.

Those are just a few suggestions to help improve your sleep quality, which will bump up your recovery.

Cross Train

As runners, we want to run.

And we do need to run to make progress toward our running goals.

Cross training works our bodies in a different way, and minimizes the wear and tear on the same tissues that we tax during a run.

Running is going to be your main thing, and that’s fine.

But a bit of something else isn’t a bad thing.

Food and Drink Matter

I’m not here to tell you what to eat or drink.

But you can’t tell me that food quality and hydration status plays a role in recovery, especially after harder workouts or high mileage runs.

If you want to eat a cinnamon roll the size of a platter and a large sugar bomb coffee, you do you.

But don’t think for one second that calorie bomb is helping you with your recovery at all.

Live life. Enjoy your meals.

But if you want to optimize recovery, eat healthy foods most of the time and drink plenty of water.

It’s a Constant Ebb and Flow

The balance between training and recovery is always in flux.

The key to avoid overtraining and under recovery is to not spend keep grinding when you’re feeling like you are running on fumes.

Legs haven’t been fresh in a week or two? Just been exhausted for several days on end? Feeling a little niggly?

All good signs that you might have done a bit much, and a pull back on training or a doubling down on recovery (or both) might be necessary.

Because whether you want to call it overtraining or under recovery, it’s not something that gets better on it’s own.


You can avoid overtraining, or under recovery, with a little common sense and a few subtle tweaks. #runchat Share on X

How Do You Make Sure to Avoid Overtraining/Under Recovery?

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