As you embark on training for endurance at one point or another it becomes apparent that volume matters. But more volume equates to more fatigue, which is the goal, however, there’s a line where it can become all too much to recover from. In build phases, it’s not ideal to fully recover between sessions, as the time of rest required is counterproductive to consistently build your fitness base.
This then can quickly lead to the question of ‘Am I overtraining?’ Its can be hard as an athlete to know when you are overreaching with training and what is just your mind being a wimp. Once in an overtrained state continuing to push just leads to frustration and lack of progress. Some options to help detect overtraining include tracking resting heart rate; looking at training stress scores; and heart rate variability.
However, I like to use a simple rule when I’m training. As I’m executing a session I break it down into manageable chunks and I ask the question can I do one more rep? If you’re being honest with yourself you’ll know the answer as you train how it’s going. Sometimes I realise mid-session that the number of reps I thought I could do is too much. So I choose to reduce the set to keep my answer to my question ‘Yes’. This question provides a good determinant about whether you are overtraining or not. Your training is only as good as the consistency and frequency in which you execute.