Wake Up Call: Overtrained!

Thank you all for wishing me well from being sick! 🙂 I’m still not 100% better, but definitely on my way.

I’m finally back at work today after having to take a couple of days off (plus the whole weekend).  I literally sat on the couch for 4 days straight! It was beginning to get a bit maddening, but I knew that I needed it.  I also didn’t have the energy to do much else anyway.

I had a sore throat, bad cough, chest congestion, and just overall achy. I also had no appetite, and still don’t have much of one.  I think that is one of the worst things about being sick! I hate not enjoying my food!

The only things that sounded somewhat appetizing were toast and butter, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and soup.  So that’s what I ate!



I have to come clean. I think something that contributed to my sickness was over training. I was doing too much activity and way too much cardio. Sure, I might have gotten sick anyways, but I think that it played a role.


At work we are doing a “100 Miles Challenge” where you have a certain amount of time to log 100 miles.  You can run, walk, bike, swim, or use cardio equipment.  Basically anything that can be tracked by miles.  I thought I’d participate in the challenge and upped my cardio on my elliptical to get some extra miles each day.

Sounds innocent enough, but I added that on top of teaching cardio classes each day.  Some days I was working out three times. That’s too much and just not needed.

I guess even I get caught up in thinking that my body can handle it and that I need to be pushed more. I think that just because I’ve been working out consistently for nearly a decade that my body can handle the extra load.  But I’m not a super human and my body falls trap to over training.

I began to feel sick last week on Tuesday, but decided to workout anyways.  I still felt sick on Wednesday and Thursday but again, I worked out. Then Friday came and I felt like crap.  I could barely get out of bed.  Sometimes people say it’s OK to workout if your symptoms are ‘above the neck’, which mine were.  But that isn’t always true.

Perhaps if I truly listened to my body and how I was feeling and took days off earlier I would have recovered sooner.  And maybe I wouldn’t have.  But I know that getting sick this past week has caused me to reevaluate my workout schedule and cut back on the extra cardio.  I don’t need it.  I get more than enough as it is.

Wake Up Call

Sometimes when we don’t listen to ourselves, we get sick or we get hurt or injured.  It’s a way to make us “wake up” and pay attention.  I think I had plenty of chances to listen, but I chose not too.  And then I was forced to listen by not being able to get off the couch.  It’s life’s wake up call I guess!

Pay Attention!

And sometimes a wake up call is what we need! No more extra cardio for this girl. More is NOT always better and it certainly wasn’t in my case!

For more information see ACE’s website for the Top 10 Signs you’re Overtraining.


Have you had any health or exercise wake up calls before?

17 responses to “Wake Up Call: Overtrained!

  1. I learned (last summer, when I was teaching at a summer program, aka running/playing/skating/walking ALL DAY LONG) that as much as it scared me, I needed to up my calorie intake to account for nonstop activity as well as my normal workouts. After the eating disorder, it was scary to see my calories go UP (and hard to learn to look for calorically dense foods and juices to help get some extra fuel), but it was absolutely what my body needed!

  2. Sorry you got so sick. I’ve experienced overtraining syndrome before. It took my husband to wake me up and make me realize how severe it was. I was clueless then started reading up on it. It can be really hard to truly listen to our bodies sometimes.

  3. I know it’s not the same as overtraining, but one time I pushed myself into going for a run thinking I had a the flu… turned out I had a kidney infection! Where was this post when I needed it, 6 years ago? 🙂 I think the message is great and hopefully you will be feeling 100% soon!

  4. I just read your post over at I’m an Okie! I also signed up to follow your blog!
    Also, I hope you feel better soon!

  5. I have overtrained once in my life… last summer. I was strength training for an hour a day and doing cardio for at least 45 minutes 7 days a week, sometimes doing two sessions (this was when I was trying hard to cut) and only eating about 1400-1500 calories per day in spite of all that activity… yeah. I learned pretty quick: one day I literally slept ALL day. I didn’t feel “sick” but I certainly felt weak and excessively fatigued…normally I can’t even sleep in past 7 if I try!

    I think it’s SO important to listen to your body…yeah, the above the neck rule is typically a good one but everyone’s body is different and every cold/virus/illness is different so you’ve really got to honor how YOU feel in the moment!

  6. Ack, hope you feel 100% soon!!! That is quite the challenge! How long do you have to complete the 100 mile challenge?

  7. Pingback: Diabetes Articles» Wake Up Call: Overtrained! |

  8. Just had to stop by and say I LOVEDDD your guest post on I’m an Okie! So great! Hope you are feeling better from your sickness… mac n’ cheese from the box was always my “sick food” as a kid 🙂

  9. Hey girl!
    I loved your post on Lisa’s website, thank you so much for posting it 🙂
    And I completely understand what you are saying here, I JUST wrote a long post on the realization of my addiction to exercise and am working to change this. We can do it!
    I hope you feel 100% better soon!

  10. I have definitely overtrained and I probably still do to a certain extent. It’s a difficult thing to stop doing.

  11. A couple of weeks ago, training for my 1/2 marathon I tweaked my Achilles. Added hill work too fast! I had to take a few days of rest and it made a world of difference!

  12. I’m glad you’re feeling better :o)
    I know the feeling of over training all too well. I think when people work in this field they are always eager to try new exercises or feel like they HAVE to exercise more to set a good example (I’m guilty of both and peole just end up thinking I’m crazy), which is the opposite of what we should do! I also know about adding too much too fast!
    Live and learn :o)

  13. Thank you for that website!! and I’m glad you are getting back into your normal routine and not overtraining! That was smart of you to recognize!

  14. I’m glad you are feeling better..nothin’ like a little Kraft Mac & cheese- it’s my favorite 🙂
    I’m glad you recognized the over training- it sucks 😦 I have been dealing with that lately too. I just get into this groove & feel like I’m invincable & can conquer it all….well, I’m wrong. I need to take a step back & realize what I’m doing to my body. REST is a good thing!

  15. Wonderful Post! Sadly, I am experiencing this right now. I trained for a Half and now my blood sugars are all messed up. I took some days off, complete rest and this week I have just been doing light walks around the neighborhood and light rides on a bike for 20 minutes. Afterwords, my legs feel swollen and tired. How can I go from running 10 miles one weekend to not even being able to walk around the block the next weekend….I did a poor job of listening to my body 😦 I am total type A so when someone gives me a challange, sometimes I dont know when to say enough is enough. The truth of the being, half the reason why I was running so much had nothing to do with maintaing weight or losing weight, I just love it so much I wanted to get my endorphin high everyday and did not feel right without it.

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