You’re Not Overtraining, You’re Under Recovering

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

That’s like when the bike shop says you’re gonna need a new cassette. Yea shot mate, I’ll sort that out ASAP 😒.


The end goal drives the plan.


Your goal is, or at least should be, to improve in training and be at your best on race day. Fundamentally, more is better. Greater stress means greater adaptation. However, we need more rest to match the increased stress. We often see this written as;


Stress + rest = adaptation (fitness)


However, I propose the formula should look more like;


1 < stress / rest > 1



WTF, Will, seriously? Yes, hear me out.

What is stress and what is rest for you?


In our podcast with Olympian Kevin Van Hoovels (Episode 70), Kevin talked about making massive leaps in his performance when he quite his job and went full-time training. He didn’t train more, he recovered more and improved the quality of his training.


Kevin added rest, not stress. Kevin’s Stress/Rest sum was greater than one (>1)


In fact, not only did Kevin increase his rest he also removed stress in the form of work and time.

Our physical body sees stress as the same, independent of what’s causing it. The body’s catecholaminergic response to stress triggers stimulation and suppression of hormones such as cortisol, serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters.

We can try to “bio-hack” our way out of the negative impacts of excessive stress by taking stimulants or sedatives but all we do is introduce a further imbalance in our hormonal system.


With such chronic imbalances, you’ll inevitably end up overtrained, injured, or both!


What’s the answer?