Over-reaching: A Short-Term Strategy
Over-reaching is a temporary phase where athletes intentionally push their boundaries to achieve performance gains.
Athletes may deliberately over-reach during peak weeks of a training program. This can result in short-term fatigue, muscle soreness, and a dip in performance. However, with proper recovery, this strategy can lead to performance improvements.
This could involve increasing your training volume, training load, and/or the exercise intensity of your sessions.
Intermediate and advanced athletes benefit more from over-reaching training strategies than beginners. If you are new to your sport, jumping into an over-reaching phase can do more harm than good, as your body (tendons, muscles, cardiovascular system) may not be prepared for the increased load.
Even if you are an intermediate or advanced athlete, it's always beneficial to have oversight from a coach. It's easy to get caught up in your training and pushing yourself too hard.
Common signs of over-reaching
- Temporary decrease in performance
- Increased perceived effort during workouts
- Mild fatigue and muscle soreness
- Mood swings and irritability.
- Fatiguing too quickly during workouts
- Excessive muscle soreness
- Difficulty sleeping