If you follow a regular training programme, whether it’s gym/home based, or out running and are looking to improve performance, strength, or speed, the best way to achieve your goals is to gradually overload your body.
This could be achieved by increasing the distance or the speed of your runs, lifting heavier weights, or increasing the amount of reps you do. However, if you don’t plan in adequate recovery, allowing your body to rest and repair, it can result in overtraining.
Overtraining is when we exceed our body's ability to recover from strenuous exercise. For example, if a recreational gym-goer performs ‘max out’ sessions two days in a row or a novice runner completes two marathons in two days (yes, these are extreme examples!) without rest, this could lead to injuries. If this is repeated over time, overtraining can limit our progress and can even cause us to lose our current fitness levels.