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Overtraining syndrome and the blues.

I am a 17-year-old high school track athlete. I ran recreationally until my freshman year (age 15) when I started running track, mostly the mile and two-mile events. I loved it and finished the year ranked in the top ten statewide. During my second year I began to suffer from fatigue and poorer performance. I had some problems with anemia, but they have been treated.

I do train very hard, four to six miles a day, weight training four or five times a week, once or twice a week hills or speed work, and I jump rope. I usually try to take one day off a week, cycling on days I don't run. I'm still struggling with poor performance, a low mood and frustration.

Jill Johnston

Clinton, MD

You are surely overstressed and need to cut back on your training. You can perform better with less. You will learn, by trial and error, how much training is enough and how much is too much. Add some variety to your workouts. Instead of weight training four or five times a week (obviously much too much), try some workouts in the pool, for example, running in the deep end with the use of a tether. On your one day off a week, do absolutely no training at all. Periods of rest are essential in order to process and incorporate the training stimuli. Remember that in track, as in life itself, you are in it for the long haul and in the long run, you must learn the art of pacing yourself.

Paul J. Kiell, M.D.

Far Hills, NJ
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Publication:Running & FitNews
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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