Recently we posted an article by Natasha Barnes about the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle and its role in training for climbing. The gist of Natasha’s article is that if we want our training to make us stronger, we need to give our bodies a chance to recover and adapt to the stresses of climbing and training. Additionally, she asserts that a failure to allow for recovery from the stresses of climbing/training will eventually lead to overtraining.

To continue examining the concept of overtraining, here’s an article by professional climber Michaela Tracy. Tracy is an accomplished British climber who has been successful on the Bouldering World Cup Circuit. However, even for a climber of her caliber, training isn’t always about pushing as hard as she can. It’s also about knowing when enough is enough.

“Firstly it is important to note that overtraining is not simply being tired. All effective training has to involve stretching the body beyond its current capabilities, which necessarily involves feeling tired for a short period of time. This so-called “functional overreaching” should be recoverable within a period of days to weeks. Overtraining is the result of continuous overreaching, accompanied by additional life stressors, leading to a sustained dip in performance which may or may not be associated with other physiological and psychological symptoms.” – Michaela Tracy

Michaela Tracy: Training – Enough is Enough

In taking a closer look at overtraining, Tracy doesn’t just look at the physical side. She also examines the mental side of the equation. According to the above definition, overtraining results from continuous overreaching accompanied by additional life stressors. This means it is not entirely physical.

As Tracy describes, we filter the physical impact of training through an emotional response before our bodies respond to the stimulus. As a result, ignoring the impact of external stressors that change your mental attitude towards climbing and training is a huge mistake.

What this means for all of us is that we need to take these factor into account when designing effective training programs. To help you do that, Tracy outlines some strategies that have helped her both avoid and recovery from overtraining. Click through below to read about her strategies and more about overtraining in the full article!

Full Article: Michaela Tracy: Training – Enough is Enough (link no longer available)


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