Overreaching, Overtraining, and Burnout with Dr. Stephen Seiler

Dr. Stephen Seiler discusses the distinction between overtraining, overreaching, and burnout.

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Fast Talk Podcast Overreach Overtrain Burnout

This week, our favorite physiologist Dr. Stephen Seiler is back on the program to talk about something that many of us get wrong: the distinction between overtraining, overreaching, and burnout. Often these terms are used synonymously, but there are many nuanced differences between these conditions, and that’s what we’ll explore in today’s episode.

We’ll dispel any myths about these terms, point out the scenarios that lead to each, and talk through how to avoid the worst outcomes.

While research on overtraining syndrome is still in its nascent phase, we now know more about the complex hormonal and physiological complications that can lead to this debilitating condition.

On the other hand, while the term hasn’t long been defined in the scientific literature, overreaching is a training method with a long history. We’ll differentiate between functional and non-functional overreaching, and how to differentiate between the two.

Then there’s burnout, that lack of motivation or mental fatigue that most likely all of us have experienced at some point. Is burnout an inevitable part of being a bike racer? We’ll discuss.

In addition to Dr. Seiler, we’ll hear from a host of great names in the endurance sports world, including Sebastian Weber from INSCYD, Jim Miller at USA Cycling, pro mountain biker Payson McElveen, and coach Neal Henderson from Wahoo.

One final note before we dive in. In this episode, you’ll hear Coach Connor describe his bout of overtraining syndrome. When we were recording the show, Trevor thought back through the haze of 25 years to try and remember the training volume that led to his Issues. You’ll hear him say it was only 10 hours. On later reflection, he feels it was more like 15 hours per week. And that’s a massive difference, given how he was training at that time. Stay tuned for that discussion.

And with that, let’s make you fast!


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Episode Transcript

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