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Overtraining?
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spikeddem


May 9, 2012, 8:11 PM
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Overtraining?
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Hola.

Since I've moved to Cincinnati I've had the opportunity to do a lot of new routes since I'm now in close proximity to the RRG. In the last two months I've done about 90 new routes (not FA's, just new for me), and I've been operating almost exclusively on a weekend warrior basis. I've had a couple weekends where I did about 20 new pitches over two days.

My hardest on-sights have been 11b (maybe 50% of 11b's I get on, I onsight). I've been doing as much climbing as I can every time I make it down since I know I won't be back for a week. Several times I've climbed until I could barely eek out 10a onsights. Up to like 7 hours of climbing (including hiking, belaying partner, etc). During this time I never got on any routes above my previous onsight limit. I just wanted to rack up miles.

For the first few weeks I was only climing Sat+Sun. Then for about two weeks I was tryin to ARC in the gym for 2-3 days. The intensity of my ARCs was too high, since I knew I had to shakeout now and then, but I had to work with the gym I had available.

About three weekends ago I noticed that routes felt about letter grade harder than normal. Seemed that I couldn't recover in spots that I used to be able to recover in, and bouldering sequences felt harder. I guess the best way to describe it is that climbing felt the same...except that every route felt sandbagged by a letter grade. Then two weekends ago I noticed it even more so. I had kind of forgotten about the previous weekend's feelings and mentioned to my partners about how sandbagged routes felt. They kind of just agreed in a way that seemed to spare my ego. Reading about the routes online I found that many were actually considered soft.

I decided to take the whole week off from climbing and not climb until next Saturday (5/5/12). Because of logistics, I didn't really climb on Sat, but on Sun it was the same feeling as the week before, but this time more like two letter grades of sandbagging.

My fingers don't feel injured whatsoever, but they just feel like some kind of governor is limiting what my fingers will allow me to do.

I've decided to take at least this week, weekend, and next week off from climbing completely.

Does this sound like overtraining despite the fact that my hard climbing has really just consisted of two days per week?


noahfor


May 9, 2012, 8:27 PM
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Re: [spikeddem] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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Have you gained any weight?


spikeddem


May 9, 2012, 8:37 PM
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Re: [noahfor] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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noahfor wrote:
Have you gained any weight?

Umm. Hard to say. I wasn't really weighing myself. I may have gained about 5 lbs. The difference that I noticed was definitely over a week. I haven't done any periodized training, but I imagine that what I am feeling is similar to the week after a peak. It was fairly abrupt in contrast to how weight would have accumulated.


noahfor


May 9, 2012, 9:12 PM
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Re: [spikeddem] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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If your eating habits change for even a coupe of days you can rapidly gain or lose enough weight for it to be noticeable. When I switch from a restricted calorie diet to maintenance calories, I always end up gaining somewhere around 5 pounds over about 2 days, and problems do feel about a grade harder. Yes, gaining and losing fat or muscle is a gradual process, but water, nutrients, glycogen, etc. can a be stored or lost pretty quickly.

I used to powerlift and when I was verging on overtraining, things didn't just feel harder, I felt weaker. I felt exhausted, sickly even. I'd dread going to the gym. Even days away I'd be thinking about my workout and getting anxious.


lena_chita
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May 10, 2012, 7:38 AM
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Re: [spikeddem] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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It doesn't sound like overtraining, because you don't mention any pain, and also the schedule sounds quite reasonable. (A weekend of climbing +2 days i nthe gym, if I understood correctly?) Maybe more volume than you are used to, but not unusual, and you have been climbing long enough.

My thoughts:

a) the last two weeks have been crazy swarmy warm humid at the Red. That makes everything feel much harder.

b) periodisation happens, whether you intentionally plan for it, or not. This could be your "down" period, because you have been climbing at high volume for a while, and that was your peak, so now you are in a valley. You will come out of it if a few weeks, no worse for the wear.

c) related to B. When people train intentionally, they usually are having periods when they are not climbing at their max and plan for it. You started training, but didn't modify your climbing to accommodate it -- hence you were surprised by it.


shockabuku


May 10, 2012, 3:21 PM
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Re: [spikeddem] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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I overtrain sometimes; it doesn't show up as sore or remotely injurious, I just can't do as well. Usually a few days off compensates but sometimes a longer break does wonders.

Maybe you're losing interest and not engaging as fully. Time off is good for the mental aspect as well.


johnwesely


May 10, 2012, 3:39 PM
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Re: [spikeddem] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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It is conditions. Everything is feeling much harder these last few weeks because it went from cool and dry to hot and humid.


Partner camhead


May 10, 2012, 3:51 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] Overtraining? [In reply to]
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As Lena said, you have hit a plateau. Take a break, go exploring, climb easy trad, go biking, then start training again so that you are in top shape for the fall.


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