Disclaimer: By writing this post I am not saying that I have never overtrained- oh, I have and still do. However, I paid the consequences fully. We all need to be reminded about the downfalls of overtraining as it’s something that constantly tempts athletes, including me.
Why do we overtrain and continue to be stubborn about taking rest days? We all know how important rest is to our performance, but why is it so dang hard to do it?
1. The "oh, that looks fun" workout. Let me give you a scenario: Athlete knows he/she needs rest, opens up SugarWOD to see tomorrow's post- see how attractive the workout is-bam, shows up on rest day. The temptation of the "fun" workout is great, we all know. Thoughts such as “I missed this last time so I HAVE to go today”, or “ he/she beat me last time, it ain't happening this time- I am WAY more fit!" flash through our head. We know CrossFit is addictive and fun. It is challenging to discipline yourself NOT to come to the box and hangout with your buddies and sweat through a grindfest. Remember that not resting enough will leave you burned out and dragging through sub-optimal workouts over and over.
Rest is cool too.
2. Burning Calories- "If I don't workout today, then I won't burn the calories that I need to eat ice cream tonight!" "If I don't go squat today, I will surely get fat" STOP connecting diet and exercise in a toxic way, yes they are both imperative but are separate pieces of a healthy athlete profile. Eat and rest to preform! Did you know that people actually gain weight when they over train or don't get enough sleep? Take the rest
3. More is Better Syndrome- "I must get stronger, and improve my gymnastics. Oh, and I need to work on my balance and endurance!" Don't try to conquer the world on five different continents. Pick your battles and make them small, challenging, yet attainable, and then move on to the next!
CrossFit is "constantly varied" and provides us with a wonderful array of skills, lifts, and movements to learn and strive to perfect- but it can also lead us down a crazy path where an athlete tries to do it all at once. Learn that overtraining will eventually catch up with you and performing at your 100% is impossible without recovery.