You love running. Your friends praise your efforts on social media. You are the pinnacle of health. You’ve never felt better. So you keep on running. Faster. Longer distances. Until one day… you completely fall to pieces. Sad but true: there is such a thing as running too much, and this type of overtraining can unravel all of your hard work and stop you immediately in your tracks. Rather take a break before you break yourself, by maintaining a careful watch on the following warning signs.
10 Warning Signs That You’re Running Too Much
1. Increased Resting Heart Rate
Obviously, a heightened heart rate is to be expected when you’re out and about, but if you’ve noticed your blood appears to be pumping faster than usual even when you’re just lounging around, your ticker may be seriously stressed. Count your heartbeat every morning and monitor it daily, noting any increase as a definite sign that your body is dealing with too much right now.
2. You’re Always In Pain
The goal of exercising is to push your muscles right up until their maximum endurance point, and naturally, some degree of pain is going to follow this objective. However, if said pain is persistent and progressively intensifying, then you may have crossed the line and will need to slow down. A break in your schedule is certainly frustrating, but after the rest period, you should find yourself running much better than before.
3. You’re Injured
While certain modifications can allow you run through injuries or disorders (such as wearing a knee sleeve for arthritis or a brace for runner’s knee), it’s always best to speak to your doctor before moving forward. This physical trauma could be your desperate body’s final attempt at stopping you by any means possible, and ignoring it could lead to something far more severe.
4. You Keep Getting Sick
By burning all of your energy, your immune system has very little fuel to function with, and so the slightest infection can send your health crashing down. Getting sick is nature’s way of telling you that you’re not physically coping anymore, and you need to stop pushing yourself so hard.
5. You Are Always Tired
Just like getting sick, a milder manifestation of overworking is the constant weight of fatigue following you around. You are permanently sleepy, operate on coffee alone, and smash into your bed utterly exhausted. Simply put, you are all out of resources, and you will need to wait while your body builds some more.
6. You Are Having Trouble Sleeping
What’s even worse than the exhaustion of a depleted body? The inability to sleep properly! Overrunning directly affects your circadian rhythm, which requires a regular daily pattern to link up a healthy sleeping cycle. If you’ve pushed your training beyond the point of any recognizable routine, you may struggle to get fall asleep while waking up frequently during the night.
7. Unstable Moodiness
Have you been particularly snappy as of late? Can your mood swing from depression to irritation in a heartbeat? Are your friends and family finding you impossible to tolerate? This could very well be a result of overworked stress, which is famous for jumbling up catecholamine, a hormone directly related to your fight-or-flight response. You need to chill!
8. You’re Constantly Thirsty
If your body is in dire need of down time, it will call out, begging for restoration. One of the ways it may decide to do this is to seek out any replacement possible by blaming dehydration for its depleted feelings. If you are drinking far more water than usual throughout the day, this could be a big red flag.
9. You’re Gaining Weight
Running is one of the greatest methods of shedding off those pesky calories, but in extreme cases, it may have the opposite effect. If you are persistently placing stress on your body, your system will begin to think it’s in trouble. To combat this, your brain may release a hormone called cortisol, which causes your body to hang onto fat, a primitive defense mechanism designed to keep you warm. Annoying, but clever all the same.
10. You Simply Don’t Feel Like Running Anymore
As with anything in this world, if you run too much, it will lose its charm and become a boring part of your daily routine. This means that even if you force yourself to tackle another lap around the park, your performance is not going to be its best, and your passion will steadily diminish further. Now is the perfect time to take a break, exploring other avenues such as cycling, walking, or swimming, until you feel those exciting cravings push you out of your door, as you run into the sunset in under your best time yet.
About the Author
Nurse Susan has always been passionate about helping people heal. After she retired from a lifelong career as a nurse, that passion didn’t go away. She loves to use her expertise to write about the best ways to keep you and your family healthy, active, and happy.