For those who follow the blog, you’ll remember my crazy thoughts of completing an Iron distance at the end of the month. It’s still on the books, if I can make it work in the schedule. Trying to do a ChiRunning workshop while I’m down there to make it worthwhile for everyone.
It got me thinking, what’s better? To get to the start line overtrained or undertrained? Obviously training just the right amount is ideal but that’s not easy and very individualized
As far as undertraining, it keeps you fresh mentally and you’re less likely to get injured. I often see people getting injured during a race and I’m pretty sure overtraining is a big part of that. Overtraining, on the other hand, builds the confidence that you can do the distance.
I think most people overtrain for their first marathon or Ironman but that’s mostly due to human nature and wanting to conquer the mountain before you even get to the mountain. And all they want to do is to get the finish line, not enjoy the day.
I’m in the midst of working on an e-book about a new training philosophy which stresses some sport-specific training, form and mental fortitude. That’s what I’m counting on for this one, and most of my races these days. I might not win these but I can still enjoy them, get decent results and finish with a smile.
As you can probably tell, I’m going with undertraining for this one, even if it’s just the lack of prep time. I might come to regret my choice halfway through the race but at least I’ll make it to the starting line in one piece and with a smile! :)
Here’s an article Active.com by triathlon legend Dave Scott on the signs of overtraining.
I’m sure most of us have been there at some point. The key is to recognize them and adjust. It doesn’t have to be this way!