Recovery from overtraining

In my opinion, she’ll feel a great desire for speed work as soon as she recovers completely. At least I did.

However, I started too hard (I did 4x30m from standing start, 2x30m from blocks and 1x60m from blocks + some weights). I shouldn’t have started so hard as I was quite sore the next day.

You should start increasing speed work very slowly. At least I would if I were you. I personally would do like 1x20m (from blocks, relaxed, just to get a feeling for blocks again), 1-2x30m (standing start), 1x60m (from blocks). After that you’ll see, if she’ll have a desire for more speed work. Even if she does, you should finish the training and her desire will probably increase even more till the next speed session. Ask her how she fells about it and she’ll tell you if she’s ready to increase intensity. Be patient. I did 100m and 200m test 14 days after the first HI training and I improved both training PBs.

Hope it helps.

Unless you can track changes in HRc, the only way to distiguish overraching vs. overtraining is after the fact. How long do they take to recover. Which you won’t know until it happens.

Practically, I don’t see it mattering, you rest them until they come back. If it’s 2 weeks, consider yourself lucky. If it’s 2 months, you’ve learned a hard lesson.

Establishing simple baselines for re-testing can be useful. I have used Heart Rate Variability with success to determine training and recovery status.

Also, I spoke with Al Vermeil yesterday about using a simple vertical jump test to assess your training status and levels of fatigue. The vertical jump mats (i.e. Just Jump) are very easy to use and aren’t terribly fatiguing to use as a test.

What type of things are you looking for in each case of fatigue and recovery?

We use all of those:

The first test all athletes are to perform is taking pulse rate immediately upon. If the resting pulse is 10 beats or more then normal, the athlete is to deload for that training session. The same goes for a tempo day. If the athlete is above beats more then normal a low volume of tempo run is to be performed.

The second test is the measurement of slj or vj 3-6 reps to test the neuro muscular system. This test is performed on all cns intensive days after the warmup is completed. A standard will be set, and the athletes must try to reach that standard. If the athlete is higher to 2-5% below the standard he or she is to train all out. If the athlete is more then 2-5% below the standard he or she is to deload for that session.

I posted all this infor before.


That is an interesting theory for testing cns fatigue. Other than a deloading and maybe contrast showers, what other methods to you use?

Number 2,

What indicators are you looking for on the vertical test? I know that Charlie has spoke about this in great detail with me but it has been a couple of years.

It is important to note that HRV is not the same as resting heart rate values. It is a complex analysis of beat-to-beat variations in heart rate using a Matlab based program. It assesses changes in autonomic nervous system function in response to loading stress and unloading.

I believe that with HRV or vertical jump or any evaluative tool, you have to look at trends and keep consistent records of how an athlete responds to different loading progressions and how quickly they bounce back after training loads (daily, weekly, monthly). Daily variations can be quite extreme, so assessing trends is very important. As well, the distinction between preparedness and readiness must be established when assessing an athlete so that you don’t misinterpret the results of a test. And, individual athletes will have different responses and recovery rates, so it is important to understand how to respond on an athlete-to-athlete basis.

This can be useful but you already introduced high intensity work, albeit sub max, before the minimum time for recovery from overtraining had passed- 10 days. you can use tempo in the interim but you’ll need to wait it out at least a while longer.

I use this almost daily. (unless i left my strap or something in the car overnight). I test 1st thing in the morning.

Easy aerobic workouts, though hard at the time, you deff recover quickly from. Really Easy aerobic workouts that take a long period of time, i find i personally recover VERY quickly from. Completely rested by the next day.

A hard speed workout or even weights workout and ill need the next day off, followed by aerobic the next day or even Two before i get a rested Heart rate again. That could be up to 3-4days before “I’m” ready to go Hard again.

However - as im personally not training for sprints anymore, i can do INtensive Tempo workouts ONE day, easy aerobic workout the next and then be recovered.

High speed workouts Smash me for days. But im also age 34…

Would have been interesting 15yrs ago to have HRv testing equipment. Does wonders for planning.

I’m interested to see if some have used heart rate measures as an indication of full recovery between sprint work? I understand that the CNS will take longer to recovery than metabolic recovery of course which is why, it would seem to me, it might not be such a great way to determine full recovery.

Tony Wells-the successful club coach from Colorado-advocates commencing with the next sprint when the HR is within a range of 108-114. I’d like to know how well such a range corresponds with what be consdered complete recovery by Charlie and others. The literature he pulled that information from was a Russian article from the early 90’s in Legaya Atletika by Jushko (I think) and another author I can’t recall right now.

Wells indicated that such a range usually has his girls running their next sprint in approx. 4-6 minutes for 30m and around 9 min. for 60m. To be sure, he has coached some of the best high school age female sprinters and hurdlers in the U.S. over the last 20 or so years.

I don’t know how accurate such a method is but if it were, it could certainly take some of the guesswork out of determining RI’s for different athlete’s sprint work.

when you wake up in the morning, find your pulse in the wrist, time for 15 secs then X4 or use heartrate monitor costs about $100. From an old spreadsheet 60 to 64 was norm (30 year old female).

Resting HR and HRv are two different things.
I have had a good resting HR - but my monitor told me i was stressed as it works on HRv.

HRv i find tells you once your Body and nervous system is recovered. But it wont tell you if you have Tight muscles. Your nervous system is linked to your CNS which is linked to your HRv. If your nervous system is not recovered, then you wont score a Recovered Rate.

Pioneer, you wouldn’t want to do that Heart rate test during sprints with me, i would be recovered far too quick. Even a fast 200m, my heart rate is lucky to hit 80% of max. Others i know, can hit Max within a 60m burst.

Sady - My current best Rest HR is 42, typically during training days its 46-48. If i woke up with a 60 HR - i better be asking Q’s… and perhaps calling in to see a Dr.

I agree 60 is too high.

Message deleted by JD

Too true, she got an average of 7.59 hours sleep a night. Plus she was in an AIS based skeleton squad for a while not long before she came to me. I tried using the monitor during training but no kidding she could drop her hr to the 64 in a matter of minutes

You have all probably all seen this before.

When you exercise, your heart beats faster to meet the demand for more blood and oxygen by the muscles of the body. The more intense the activity, the faster your heart will beat. Therefore, monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be an excellent way to monitor exercise intensity.
For the majority of aerobic enthusiasts, there is a range of exercise intensities that is described as safe and effective for promoting
cardiovascular benefits. To determine what range is best for you, you’ll
need to be familiar with a few terms. 1Maximal Heart Rate: This number is
related to your age. As we grow older, our hearts start to beat a little more slowly. To estimate your maximal heart rate, simply subtract your age from the number 220. 2Target Heart-Rate Zone: This is the number of beats per minute (bpm) at which your heart should be beating during
aerobic exercise. For most healthy individuals, this range is 50 percent to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate.
So, if your maximal heart rate is 180 bpm, the low end of the range (50 percent) would be 90 bpm, and the high end of the range (80 percent) would be 144 bpm. (Use the chart to determine your own target heart-rate zone.)
Now that you’ve determined your target heart-rate zone, you need to know how to put that information to good use. These numbers serve as a guideline — an indicator of how hard you should be exercising. Those just beginning an aerobic program should probably aim for the low end of the zone and pick up the intensity as they become more comfortable with their workouts. Those who are more fit, or are training for competitive
events, may want to aim for the higher end of the zone. Keep in mind that the target heart-rate zone is recommended for individuals without any health problems. Additionally, individuals taking medication that alter the heart rate should consult their physician for recommended exercise intensity.
Age: 20 30 40 50 60 70
50% 100 95 90 85 80 75
80% 160 152 144 136 128 120

Great points! There are always are some lifestyle stressors going on in the life of a 21-year-old student, but we’re addressing those the best we can.

We have used the SLJ quite extensively as a primer for speed/accel work (and thus have the data for comparison), but the VJ would probably be more reliable as an indicator of recovery status - just don’t have the baseline data for that. I will look into the HRV testing as we also have some research going on on the subject at the local uni.

The plan for now is to have a test session after 10 days of recovery from the last high intensity runs, e.g.:

  • 3-4 x SLJ
  • 2 x 30m from a standing start (smooth)
  • 1 x 30m from blocks (timed)
  • 1-2 x 60m submax
  • weights at reduced numbers

We then have 5 weeks before a 16-day training camp in warm weather, and another 3 weeks before the first planned meet (ie. 10 weeks total). Questions:

  1. How would you plan the training in these constraints (assuming the test session shows recovery of the athlete)? Would 2 weeks be enough to gradually increase volumes back to normal, then have a 3 week block of work, use the training camp mostly for recovery, and then maybe another 2-3 week block of work while using the first meets only as training?

  2. As Charlie pointed out in the Inside the SPP video, when the 60 m time goal wasn’t reached (on a S-to-L plan) even SPP II should still focus on developing the max speed of an athlete. Is this the case here as we don’t probably know her true potential b/c of the overtraining? I’m still leaning towards focusing on 60-80 meter work (EFE, FEF, 60’s and 80 m SE) until she’s got her speed back and then lengthening that to 120 or just use the first block of competitions to bring up speed endurance. She needs to peak in the first week of August for the nationals as the planned early summer peak is now probably better to forget. Any comments?

  3. We used the standard 3 HI - 3 LI sessions per week schedule during the first phase of training. Should we now go down to 2 HI - 4 LI to avoid setbacks or just reduce the volumes so that 3 sessions can be handled?

I would much prefer measuring HR from the carotid artery and I would regard the HRmax=220-age ‘equation’ as highly unreliable.

You would be a triathlete or marathon runner. I don’t have the data here on events and optimal HR, I think it was covered in one of the periodisation books by Tudor Bomka.

I could have fibbed about the athletes 60/64 HR but in her case I found monitoring it as useful as pockets in undies.

Other recovery techniques on the site could include contrast showers/baths, ems, massage, meditation ala the Relaxation Response (you don’t need the Dali Lama for this) and nutritionals. Protein is critical 1.5 - 2 grams/kg bwt – besides muscle protein synthesis it provides precursors for neurotransmitters, a solid multi, additional Mg (not oxide, Malate is good because the malate feeds mitochondria) antioxidants (fresh berries are better than all the juices out there).