Rest and Recovery


Am I overtraining?

Here at Thames CrossFit we all like to push ourselves and others hard during the workouts. We do this as we know that it is the high intensity that provides the optimal adaptation, leading to improved fitness. Feeling tired immediately after a session and the following day(s) is a normal response to this high intensity stimulus but is there a point where that tiredness is a sign that you should be slowing down during a workout or maybe even decide to back off and just take the day off? We are not talking about the moment where that little voice inside your head is telling you to give up during a workout but a more long term issue of overtraining.

Let’s take a look at some common signs and symptoms of overtraining:

  • Insomnia
  • Achiness or pain in the muscles and/or joints
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sudden inability to complete workouts
  • Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy
  • Increased susceptibility to colds, sore throats and other illnesses
  • Loss in appetite
  • Decrease in performance

As we can see, being in a state of overtraining is not a happy place to be.  However, more often than not these signs creep in slowly and not all at once. At first we might not even be able to pinpoint the cause for a subtle decrease in performance or altered sleep quality.

So how do I know if I’m overtraining?

There are many ways to keep track of this. Here are two solutions you can apply:

  1. Just listen to your body for the above listed signs. This is something that takes time to learn but here is a practical way to get started: If you are feeling tired and not quite sure whether you should train today or take the day off, the first step to take is to come to the gym. When you are at the gym, changed to your workout gear and looking at the whiteboard, you can decide whether you need to take the day off or not. If you are still feeling like it’s not a good idea then back off, do some stretching and call it a day. It is way too easy to feel tired after a hard week at work and just decide that “yep, I’m definitely overtrained and will need to take today off (and maybe have a beer or two in the process)”.
  2. Slightly more technical solution is to keep a log of your resting heart rate (HR). The best time to do this is after waking up (before getting off the bed) in the morning and just before turning the lights off (already in bed) in the evening. You can then establish a baseline resting HR for yourself. You can now follow the changes based on your training. A 5% increase from the baseline means you should take it easy that day and a 10% increase means it’s time to take a rest day. Although this might sound like a bit too much hassle at first, it’s actually quite easy to implement in your daily routine

Next time we are going to consider the possibility that you are not actually overtraining but just under recovering..


Note there is no park WOD this weekend…however, some members were planning to meet in Greenwich for an informal WOD. Post details and enquiries to comments.

9 rounds of:
1 min run, 1 min rest
Hold distances as consistent as possible.