Here are some ways to tell if you might be overtraining, followed by some advice on how to overcome it.
Your Injuries are More Frequent
Overtraining can lead to some serious injuries. If you keep training during these injuries, you may end up aggravating them further, leading to something more serious. Let’s say you start feeling a twinge in your lower back when you do explosive movements, like burpees. If you don’t take care of your back and keep lifting heavy, you may turn it into something more serious. I’ve done sets of front squats, keeping in mind my past PRs, and I’ve rounded my back on some of the later sets, leading to me taking a week off. Nurture the injuries you have instead of making them worse.
You Have Trouble Sleeping
If you’re working out all the time, say a few hours a day, you’d think that it would help you sleep better. But that’s not always the case. Overtraining can lead to us thinking about CrossFit all the time and planning out our next workout in our heads. If we’re working out too late in the evening, we may not give our bodies enough rest time to get quality, restful sleep. Remember, 7-9 hours of good, restful sleep can go a long way in recovery.
CrossFit Isn’t Fun Anymore
Above all else, CrossFit should be fun. But a lot of times when we have specific goals in mind, if we don’t reach those goals, it can become really frustrating. And if we’re spending so much time training and not hitting our goals, the frustration can spiral. Make sure to include workouts where the goal isn’t to PR. Think of it as working out and having a good time with your friends.
Plan Your Workouts and Stick to Your Plan
It’s tempting to do a new Hero WOD when they’re posted on Crossfit.com. But if it doesn’t fit into your scheduled workout, you’re not helping your workout goals. Make sure to be smart about your workouts and include a variety of strength, mobility, and met-cons to get the most out of your training. If you really want to try a new workout, schedule it in the upcoming weeks so you can look forward to it and stick to your workout plan.
Listen to Your Body
If your knee is nagging you, skip running and box jumps for the week. CrossFit workouts are made to modify. You don’t have to RX every workout. If your shoulders are overworked from too many pull-ups and push presses, give them a rest so they can recover. Knowing how to recover is part of being a successful CrossFit athlete, so treat recovery like every other part of your workout.