The five most common endurance training mistakes are:
- Failure to taper before a competition
- Using non-sport specific exercises and intensities
- Failing to plan long term training schedules in order to achieve a specific goal.
Overtraining specifically can be caused by workouts that are too long or strenuous. This could result in injury and weaken an individual’s immune response to disease. In general, an over-trained individual can display one or multiple symptoms. These symptoms include:
- An elevated heart rate and blood lactate levels at submaximal workloads.
- Also, a loss of appetite caused by overtraining could lead to unexpected weight loss.
- An over trained individual may also experience chronic fatigue, loss the ability to recover from training sessions, and experience psychological staleness.
- Lastly, an over trained individual may experience more colds/sore throats or other sicknesses.
Ultimately, one or all of these symptoms may lead to a decrease in performance. It is important that the endurance athlete recognizes these symptoms of overtraining when they occur and reduce overall workload as to recover from and not prolong the negative overtraining effects.
Failing to plan sport specific exercises and intensities may also inhibit the optimal performance of an endurance athlete. When athletes do not understand the law of specificity they may use exercises that do not enhance the energy capacities of the muscles used in competition. This can be avoided by understanding the training principles of overload, specificity, and reversibility.
Additionally, if an endurance athlete fails to program correctly to achieve specific objectives at various times in a training cycle; this may lead to inefficient training time and ultimately inferior performances.
Lastly, failing to taper before a competition may result in sub par performance. When tapering an athlete should reduce the training workload and/or intensity several days prior to a key competition. This will allow the muscles to have maximal glycogen stores and be healed from training induced damage. In general, tapers can last anywhere from 3-21 days depending on the sport.