The present study explored the experiences of five competitive endurance athletes (1 female, 4 male) diagnosed with the overtraining syndrome (OTS). A multicontextual method of inquiry was used, which first involved a medical examination whereby OTS was diagnosed according to established criteria. In addition, 2 questionnaires were administered: the Athlete Daily Hassle Scale (Albinson & Pearce, 1998) and the Coping Response Inventory (Moos, 1992), and a semistructured interview was conducted. Individual case studies were then developed and cross-case analysis carried out. Findings from the present study illustrate that together with sport stress, nonsport stress appears to make an important contribution to the experience of those athletes diagnosed with the OTS. This finding provides evidence to support anecdotes in previous reports.
Heidi L. Meehan, Stephen J. Bull, Dan M. Wood and David V.B. James
severity of its symptoms and its impairment to quality of life, overtraining phenomena must be considered serious and career-threatening events. Using the story of an elite rower, I illustrate the advantages of diagnosing and treating nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR) and overtraining syndrome (OTS) by
Joel T. Fuller, Clint R. Bellenger, Dominic Thewlis, John Arnold, Rebecca L. Thomson, Margarita D. Tsiros, Eileen Y. Robertson and Jonathan D. Buckley
Stride-to-stride fluctuations in running-stride interval display long-range correlations that break down in the presence of fatigue accumulated during an exhaustive run. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether long-range correlations in running-stride interval were reduced by fatigue accumulated during prolonged exposure to a high training load (functional overreaching) and were associated with decrements in performance caused by functional overreaching.
Ten trained male runners completed 7 d of light training (LT7), 14 d of heavy training (HT14) designed to induce a state of functional overreaching, and 10 d of light training (LT10) in a fixed order. Running-stride intervals and 5-km time-trial (5TT) performance were assessed after each training phase. The strength of long-range correlations in running-stride interval was assessed at 3 speeds (8, 10.5, and 13 km/h) using detrended fluctuation analysis.
Relative to performance post-LT7, time to complete the 5TT was increased after HT14 (+18 s; P < .05) and decreased after LT10 (–20 s; P = .03), but stride-interval long-range correlations remained unchanged at HT14 and LT10 (P > .50). Changes in stride-interval long-range correlations measured at a 10.5-km/h running speed were negatively associated with changes in 5TT performance (r –.46; P = .03).
Runners who were most affected by the prolonged exposure to high training load (as evidenced by greater reductions in 5TT performance) experienced the greatest reductions in stride-interval long-range correlations. Measurement of stride-interval long-range correlations may be useful for monitoring the effect of high training loads on athlete performance.
Susan Vrijkotte, Romain Meeusen, Cloe Vandervaeren, Luk Buyse, Jeroen van Cutsem, Nathalie Pattyn and Bart Roelands
The margin between optimal training load and excessive stress varies on a daily basis. When training stress is experienced for too long, nonfunctional overreaching (NFO) and the “overtraining syndrome” (OTS) can be developed, with impaired performance for weeks up to months and sometimes even
Diogo V. Leal, Lee Taylor and John Hough
overtraining syndrome (OTS; requiring several months or even years for full recovery). 2 Resting concentrations of cortisol and testosterone (both salivary and blood derived) 4 – 6 were suggested as markers of overreaching/NFOR/OTS, due to their ability to indicate the body’s catabolic/anabolic state
Nathan A. Lewis, Ann Redgrave, Mark Homer, Richard Burden, Wendy Martinson, Brian Moore and Charles R. Pedlar
Unexplained underperformance syndrome (UUPS) 1 describes an athlete presenting with persistent fatigue in the absence of disease, together with a decline in performance recognized by coach and athlete. This condition is otherwise known as overtraining syndrome. 2 However, UUPS reflects the
Michael Kellmann, Maurizio Bertollo, Laurent Bosquet, Michel Brink, Aaron J. Coutts, Rob Duffield, Daniel Erlacher, Shona L. Halson, Anne Hecksteden, Jahan Heidari, K. Wolfgang Kallus, Romain Meeusen, Iñigo Mujika, Claudio Robazza, Sabrina Skorski, Ranel Venter and Jürgen Beckmann
decreased performance. Continuous underrecovery and NFO often serve as a precursor for overtraining syndrome (OTS). An accumulation of underrecovery in terms of daily life demands together with long-term NFO in training and competition settings ultimately manifests in OTS. OTS is marked by physical symptoms
Lieselot Decroix, Maria Francesca Piacentini, Gerard Rietjens and Romain Meeusen
High training loads combined with other stressors can lead to performance decrements. The time needed to recover determines the diagnosis of (non)-functional overreaching or the overtraining syndrome. The aim of this study was to describe the effects of an 8-day (intensified) training camp of professional female cyclists on physical and cognitive performance.
Nine subjects performed a 30-min time trial (TT), cognitive test, and Profile of Mood States questionnaire before, during, and after a training camp (49% increased training volume). On data collection, cyclists were classified as “overreached” (OR) or “adapted” (A) based on TT performance. Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to detect changes in physical and cognitive parameters.
Five cyclists were described as OR based on decreased mean power output (MPO) (–7.03%) on day 8. Four cyclists were classified as A (increased MPO: +1.72%). MPO and maximal heart rate were significantly different between A and OR groups. A significant slower reaction time (RT) (+3.35%) was found in OR subjects, whereas RT decreased (–4.59%) in A subjects. The change in MPO was negatively correlated with change in RT in the cognitive test (R 2 = .52).
This study showed that the use of objective, inexpensive, and easy-to-interpret physical and cognitive tests can facilitate the monitoring of training adaptations in professional female athletes.
Andrew C. Fry, William J. Kraemer, Michael H. Stone, Beverly J. Warren, Jay T. Kearney, Carl M. Maresh, Cheryl A. Weseman and Steven J. Fleck
To examine the effects of 1 week of high volume weightlifting and amino acid supplementation, 28 elite junior male weightlifting received either amino acid (protein) or lactose (placebo) capsules using double-blind procedures. weightlifting test sessions were performed before and after 7 days of high volume training sessions. Serum concentrations of testosterone (Tes), cortisol (Cort), and growth hormone (GH) as well as whole blood iactate (HLa) were determined from blood draws. Lifting performance was not altered for either group after training, although vertical jump performance decreased for both groups. Both tests elicited significantly elevated exercise-induced hormonal and HLa concentrations. Significant decreases in postexercise hormonal and HLa concentrations from Test 1 to Test 2 were observed for both groups. Tes concentrations at 7 a.m. and preexercise decreased for both groups from Test 1 to Test 2, while the placebo group exhibited a decreased 7 a.m. Tes/ Cort. These data suggest that amino acid supplementation does not influence resting or exercise-induced hormonal responses to 1 week of high volume weight training, but endocrine responses did suggest an impending overtraining syndrome.
Ryan C. Luke, Joanna L. Morrissey, Erin J. Reinke, Trish G. Sevene, Judith E. Canner and Kent J. Adams
Many athletes deal with the dilemma of a short pre-season followed by a long and grueling competitive season. Unfortunately, this type of schedule puts athletes at greater risk of injury and/or development of overtraining syndrome. In order for athletes to realize optimal performance, it is vital that a coaching staff engages in and understands the rationale (physiological and psychological) behind best coaching practices to ensure that athletes are mentally and physically prepared for competition. This requires managing athletes’ mental and physical fatigue over the duration of a competitive season, which involves applying effective coaching strategies during the off-season and pre-season. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching methods the Kinesiology Department faculty and the coaching staff of the women’s soccer team at California State University Monterey Bay collaborated to measure athlete preparedness for competition on a weekly basis over the duration of a competitive season. The following article is a discussion of coaching methods that are considered an example of best practice and the physiological and psychological rationale behind what we would consider to be effective strategies for managing athletes’ mental and physical fatigue and thereby increasing the chances for an athlete to realize optimal performance.