The Athletic and Working Dog Newsletter 4:5

Issue 4(5): ~ Overtraining Syndrome. ~ Overreaching and Overtraining in Athletes

Overtraining Syndrome – A dog’s psychological drive pushes it to train or perform to its maximum physical abilities every time the dog enters practice or competition. When canine athletes train to their physical limit all the time, do not allow adequate rest periods, and do not ingest the proper amount and ratios of nutrition, they can develop “Over Training Syndrome”. Overtraining syndrome is a common cause of decreased performance and illness in athletes. It is described as persistent decreases in performance with or without other accompanying physical or psychological symptoms despite two weeks of lighter training or complete rest.

Overreaching and Overtraining in Athletes – An important problem in canine sports today lies in the training, competition, recovery, and rest cycle. The cycle consists of the amount and type of training stress, competition stress, recovery, and rest a canine athlete receives. An imbalance in the cycle in combination with non-athletic stress such as that experienced during travel, can lead to overreaching and eventually overtraining. Overreaching is an accumulation of athletic and non-athletic related stress that can develop into a short term (i.e. a few days to a few weeks) decrease in performance. Overtraining is an accumulation of athletic and non athletic related stress that causes a long term (i.e. a few weeks to a few months) decrease in performance, increase risk of injury, and increase risk of illness. Tapering Variations Utilized in Canine Competition – A lot of canine athletic and working events are not designed in this format. They are set up as year-round activities with multiple peaks within the competitive season. In this type of season, a variation on the fundamental tapering techniques can be employed.


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