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Why fatigue and illness aren’t the same as “overtraining”

April 3rd, 2009
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Got an interesting e-mail about overtraining from a Jockology reader named Nathan:

I used to train frequently and at a high exertion level, as a result I […] was often fatigued and sick. It also appeared that other athletes arround me who exercised frequently for sport specific activities (e.g., triathlons, distance running, cycling, etc.) were also sick frequently.

This is a pretty common observation — if exercise is a miracle drug, I guess this is the fine print. Nathan goes on to frame the question in terms of a hypothetical graph of health benefits versus amount of exercise. As activity increases, health improves — but at a certain point, it begins to plateau, and eventually more exercise actually makes you less healthy.

There’s an element of truth to this, but it’s not the full story. Read more…

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