Amber Pierce Warns of Overtraining

Credit: Milay Galvez, Advanced Sports International

I’m an American professional cyclist and have been racing at the World Cup level for five years now. I live in Austria and race for the Italian UCI team Diadora Pasta Zara.

I hit a serious plateau over the past two years, and after a lot of blood work and research, I now know that I have been severely overtrained since 2010. I’m now finishing a two month hiatus from training in which I’ve been working with doctors to correct anemia and hormone imbalances; from here, my coach and I are working on a plan to build back my fitness without overtraining.

Now, if the ithlete tells me I need rest, I can take the day off without questioning my decision. I can recover far better without the deleterious effects of second-guessing myself. Likewise, if the ithlete says I have the green light to train at full gas, I don’t wonder whether I’m pushing myself too hard again. Not only has it helped me to get more from my physical training, but it has also relieved a huge amount of mental and emotional stress.

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