It is always painful to hear, as a friend and coach, when someone you know has been busting their ass at the box and they end up injured because of over training. All the long hours of work they put in are now wasted. It is especially more painful as a coach because you know you could have helped to prevent it. I personally was over training leading into the 2011 CrossFit Games. Luckily, my body was able to sustain performance for a few more months, but it then took me close to a year to fully recover. The following is a quick and simple quiz that can be given to yourself or to your athletes to help prevent over training. Here are 6 questions to answer every morning:
1. Did I sleep well last night?
2. Am I looking forward to today’s WOD or training session?
3. Am I optimistic about my future performance?
4. Am I feeling vigorous and energetic?
5. Is my appetite great?
6. Is my body feeling fresh? (No excessive soreness)
If you, or your athlete, answer "NO" to more than one of these questions, then it is most likely best to lighten up on volume for that day. Take it a bit easier to focus more on sleep, nutrition, hydration and mobility. If you are constantly answering "NO" to one or more of these questions, you run a high chance of over training which can significantly hamper your training for several months.
The above questionnaire does not only apply to elite athletes. If your goals aren’t to make it to the Games next year, it is still beneficial to answer all the above questions with a "YES." Answering yes to all the questions will make sure that you continue to make progress towards your goals and enjoy every training session, both of which are essential to a healthy and active lifestyle.