Today, let’s talk about overtraining. It’s something many of us are facing right now with limited outlets for our time and energy. Personally, I’m nursing a strained MCL after going from a few CrossFit classes a week to running and walking 50-plus miles a week. 

It wasn’t a smart approach, but it kept me sane and it really didn’t seem like much to someone who used to run ultra marathons. But I’m not that guy anymore. The last time I ran 26.2 was in November of 2015 or 2016. I’m a different person with a different build and different abilities. So it should go without saying I shouldn’t have expected my body to just leap in like it was yesterday.

This was the subject of a recent article in Inverse, given that COVID has so many people re-evaluating their relationships with their health and their fitness. Running and riding are up this summer. Group and studio fitness and weightlifting are down. Sudden changes to what we’re doing and how often we’re doing it has injuries just as popular jogging. Unfortunately.

The article says, “To try to reduce your risk of injury it’s important to track and analyze your average daily workload. This should be over the course of a week that you can then compare to the previous four weeks. This could be in distance or time and is referred to as the acute chronic workload (ACWL).”

At the simplest level, it’s recommended you keep your increases in cardiovascular strain between 5 and 10 percent each month. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like rapid growth every month, but you need to treat your fitness like it’s a lifelong game. If you increase your workload by 10% each month, you’ll increase your total work by over 250% by the twelfth month. So don’t go cranking the volume up to ten just because you have time. Crank it up a little bit at a time and you’ll be kicking butt in no time.

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