In the wake of overtraining: what have I learned?

About a year ago I had just realized that I suffered the symtoms of overtraining. I had a chronic sore throat, returning fevers and felt constantly tired for more than eight months but still kept training crossfit with a schedule of 3:1 (three days on, one day off) at the same time as I kept climbing with a high intensity. When I finally understood why I never got well I stopped training hard and just kept climbing at the crag and riding as my only exercise for the months that followed. The sore throat and fevers went away and I started feeling better and had more energy; than came the fall after a couple of lazy summer months and I was trapped in what I see now as a catch 22 of highly negative stress at work and still too little recovery from training. This went on til I got sick again but this time more emotionally and I decided it was time to make a change in my lifestyle. I quit my job as a manager and we moved to Gothenburg and at this point in time my work situation is a lot less stressful and I have more time off to do the things I love.

But I still have little extra energy to train really hard!; it’s like my body and mind has activated some sort of defence mechanism against too much strain that lasts still today. Not that I’m lazy, anyone who knows me would probably agree on that, but my experience with being overtrained has put me in the wake of something that my body interprets as dangerous. I look at my friends at the climbing gym performing their hard drills of additional strength training and I just can’t make myself go to that level again, not yet.. After having been one of the most well trained people at the gym I’ve become more like someone who just trains for simple leisure without extreme ambition.. This is a new experience for me and when I started being honest with myself on this fact there was also a big sense of relief; I know I will probably never train at the level I did before this happened but I have the ability to choose what I want to do now that I’m true to myself.

I’ve put up goals now that can meet the level of training I’m capable of at the moment and I feel comfortable spending the summer training less and climbing more. My goal is to start training better with the advice from climbing coach Carlos Cabrera in the fall when I’ve all but landed in this ”new” life. Being healthy, active and as good as I can be in my sport is all that matters in the end. Some do have the ability to recover from overtraining rapidly and return to their game just as hard and intensly as they’ve always have, but for me some of the frail love of hard training has become damaged. I’ve learned to always love my game, not feel forced by it. I’ve learned that less can definately be more!

 

Ring dips
Tons of ring dips with high intensity used to be what I ate for dinner..

 

 

 

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