Those who train for climbs will tire, but overtraining pushes beyond fatigue and into diminishing returns. Unfortunately, it is not easy to determine if you are overtraining or just getting tired in a skill-based sport like climbing. Today, we’re looking at research to better guide our training.
Overtraining vs. Overtraining
First, overtraining and overtraining are two similar, but different situations that are worth separating. According to Jeffrey Krier of the Department of Orthopedics at Massachusetts General Hospital, “Excessive exercise is a condition of excessive volume or intensity of exercise that results in decreased athletic performance for a sport.” Kreher also says that overshooting is more common than overtraining, with an incidence of up to 60% for over-overtaking in athletes.
In comparison, overtraining is less prevalent. “Overtraining syndrome (OTS) is a very specific and severe condition when overtraining without adequate rest and recovery leads to a decrease in performance lasting more than 2-3 months combined with a mood disturbance,” Krier said. A syndrome is a description of a group of symptoms. This length of decrement and major mood disturbance separate these two syndromes.
To reinforce, climbers must push themselves beyond their current limits to adapt to a higher stress load. career overreach, Also known as short term overshoot, it occurs after intense exercise. The body is exposed to short-term damage, after which it strengthens and achieves an increase in performance. This is how we progress.
Non-functional overshoot It occurs over a period of weeks or months and causes long-term damage, but the body heals after adequate rest. In these cases, the time frame is long enough for the training result to be negative due to symptoms and a loss of training time.
Overtraining Syndrome It occurs over a period of months and is harmful enough to end sports careers. Diagnosing OTS is difficult because there is no proper sign that separates it from bypass. Although anyone can look at many of the biomarkers found here, in the end, an athlete who does a self-diagnostic may have more success observing their condition through the lens of sympathetic and sympathetic changes in mood.
Parasympathetic modifications in your case look like this: fatigue, depression, bradycardia, and excitability. These symptoms are more common in aerobic sports. Climbing is a largely anaerobic sport. On the athletic climbing level, longer routes tend toward the aerobic capacity of the climber, but even athletic routes appear as short bursts of anaerobic exercise. However, these symptoms may be related to an athletic climber, or an athlete going through the stress of long-term training.
The sympathetic changes may be more related to the rocks as these symptoms are more commonly found in anaerobic sports. Boulding is mostly anaerobic. Insomnia, irritability, agitation, tachycardia, high blood pressure, and restlessness are symptoms associated with anaerobic overtraining.
Other symptoms include eating disorders, lack of mental focus, heaviness and muscle stiffness, anxiety, and waking without recovery.
In an article published by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, “Excessive aerobic endurance training is predominantly caused by excessive (sympathetic) overload, while excessive anaerobic or resistance (sympathetic) training is primarily caused by excessive high-intensity overload.”
Sometimes climbing can walk the line between these forms of overtraining by trying to move excessively aggressively. In these moments, we put our bodies under a high degree of stress. Even when there is variety of movement, as climbing often describes. Volume at high intensity provides a significant opportunity for overtraining and injury.
How do we prevent overtraining? Some will come from personal experience. If you’re lucky enough to have your vital signs checked regularly, this is probably a good way to see if you’re recovering, but like all things on climbing, tests are probably not necessary to determine if you’re recovering or not from fatigue.
Instead, consider whether you are consuming enough food and water. Consider whether you are sleeping enough. Determine if you feel happy between sessions. If you feel fatigued, and wake up exhausted, you may be heading towards overtraining. When this feeling is short-lived and periods of fatigue end with weeks of delay, you may recover and progress.
If you feel like you are regressing, or your fingers are uncomfortable or swollen, you may need to improve your recovery. Overtraining results in slower strength gains. Although enthusiastic climbers often push for better results, slowing down and focusing on effective burns can lead to better performance and greater recovery.
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