- Signs of over training
- Eat well to recover well
- Having a zero or nearo day schedule
What Is Over Training?
Over training happens when the intensity and volume of exercise exceed your recovery capacity.
It happens to a lot thru of hikers, but it’s generally overlooked. When you are hiking with a 30lb pack for 20+ miles on hilly terrain covering 8000′ of elevation change per day, it’s going to catch up to you! Signs you might be overdoing it include:
- Persistent muscle soreness
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Increase in injuries
- Loss of motivation
- Disturbed sleeping
- Decreased appetite
Nutrition Plays A Role
Another major factor is nutrition – you need to eat enough quantity and QUALITY foods to help the body out with recovery. Better nutrition means more vitamins and minerals that are severely lacking in a “Ramen Bomb”. Treat yourself to real food, not pop tarts.
Nutrition matters, rest matters and so does self care. Just ask the roughly 66% of hikers that never finish their thru-hike.
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There are other ways to help prevent and overcome overtraining. Most easily done is hiking shorter days. Unless you have a need to be done by a certain date, enjoy this gift to yourself and slow down. I always enjoyed getting to camp, for us, that was around 4-5pm each day. That gave us plenty of time to relax, stretch, eat, and just enjoy where we were. Remember, it’s not about the miles!
Spending time performing self-massage on feet, calf muscles and upper legs at the end of the day also help the body recover. It promotes blood flow and healing, plus, it feels good.
Nutrition and rest are the key pieces to getting back on track. That being said, take a zero or nearo day! We took one every 10-14 days and it worked great for us. Listen to your body and stress less about getting the miles. Who doesn’t love a town day anyway?
You can reach me firstname.lastname@example.org with any injury issues, past or present that you feel will impact your hike. Training questions are also welcome – I am happy to help!