Are You Overdoing Your (Running) Workouts? Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining

Are You Overdoing Your (Running) Workouts? Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining

by Livia von der Heide

If the body is put under too much stress for an extended period of time, or it is not given sufficient time to recover, this can lead to diminished performance in the long run. In the worst case, it can even result in sports injuries. But how can you tell if you’re overtraining? What are the symptoms?

Stretching after a run

Regeneration – the key to success

Most athletes know that recovery is an important part of training. However, while good in theory, many do not practice it on a regular basis. The first signs of fatigue and overtraining are often ignored.

Especially when training is going really well, we often want to push even harder and not slow down. Running and training makes us happy, euphoric and sometimes downright high — this is what makes exercise so appealing, yet dangerous for the body if taken too far.

There’s a reason that competitive athletes see proper recovery as the key to success. In recreational sports, on the other hand, adequate recovery time is often taken to be less important. Many people have a hard time telling the difference between “a lot” and “too much” training.

After a long or intense run, hill sprints or intervals, symptoms of fatigue are normal up to a certain degree. They can even be a welcome sign that you did everything right. The same goes for symptoms after an especially intense bodyweight workout. But how can you tell if you’re at risk of overtraining?

Running overtraining


  1. extended muscle soreness
  2. slower and less complete recovery
  3. legs feel heavy and tired
  4. persistent fatigue
  5. increased irritability and moodiness
  6. depressive moods
  7. loss of motivation
  8. changes in appetite (more or less)
  9. performance plateau or decline
  10. problems falling and staying asleep
  11. increased need for sleep
  12. elevated resting heart rate

If you notice five or more of these running overtraining symptoms, you should try taking a 10-day break from training. You might also want to think about whether you can optimize your training plan in terms of recovery times and whether you should take it a little easier in general for a while.

Recovery: Top 8 fascia roller exercises

Give these fascia roller exercises a try to boost your recovery after a run or workout:

Overtraining symptoms: What should I do if there isn’t any improvement?

If the symptoms of overexertion and overtraining have not improved despite proper recovery and fascia roller exercises, then we recommend seeing a doctor. You shouldn’t take overtraining symptoms or fatigue lightly: you are at a much higher risk of injury when your body is exhausted. And an injury can often mean having to take an even longer break from training than squeezing in a short rest day here and there. 

To ensure that it doesn’t happen in the first place, you should always incorporate a good warm-up and a relaxing cool-down (to boost muscle recovery) into your workout routine and squeeze in at least one rest day before the first signs of overtraining even appear.

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