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Athletic Overtraining

May 9, 2018

Athletes sometimes train so hard they stymie their own progress.

Transcript

Doctoral candidate and triathlete Alexandra Coates studies the physiology of overtraining in endurance athletes (Julien Heon)

Doctoral candidate and triathlete Alexandra Coates studies the physiology of overtraining in endurance athletes (Julien Heon)

BOB HIRSHON (Host):

The perils of overtraining. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Endurance athletes trying to excel may train too hard. It’s called “overtraining” and University of Guelph doctoral candidate and triathlete Alexandra Coates and her colleagues found it can backfire.

ALEXANDRA COATES (University of Guelph):

The regular training improves your fitness, improves your health; overtraining negates the health benefits and didn’t improve fitness.

HIRSHON:

One reason could be that overtraining overstimulates the sympathetic nervous system– also known as the fight or flight system. In the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, she reports that even when at rest, overtrained athletes remained in this hypervigilent condition, and that could impede the body’s ability to recover. And while the research focused on endurance athletes, Coates says similar effects could sabotage the efforts of others who push their fitness regimens too far. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.

Story by Bob Hirshon