Over-Reaching versus Over-Training: Gaining the Benefits, but Avoiding the Pitfalls
By: Alex M. McDonald, MD
Medical Doctor and Professional Triathlete
Every athlete has and will experience periods of fatigue throughout their athletic career, regardless of whether they are a professional athlete training 30 hours a week or a busy professional trying to squeeze in a lunch time workout. When there is an imbalance between training and recovery, exercise and exercise capacity, and stress and/or stress tolerance, overtraining is often the result1. Endurance athletes are particularly vulnerable to overtraining. Unfortunately, due to differences of opinion amongst exercise physiologists, lack of well-designed studies, and poor topic definitions, most people hold a relatively limited understanding of the subject matter and its nuances.