Preventing overtraining in athletes in high-intensity sports and stress/recovery monitoring

Nevner de fleste faktorene rundt restitusjon. Og legger vekt på at idrettsutøvere er under-restituert heller enn over-trent. Beskriver spørreskjemaet RESTQ-Sport som kan brukes til å følge med på restitusjonseffekten hos en idrettsutøver.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01192.x/full

The key defining features are

  • Recovery is a process in time and is dependent on the type of and duration of stress.
  • Recovery depends on a reduction of stress, a change of stress, or a break from stress.
  • Recovery is specific to the individual and depends on individual appraisal.
  • Recovery can be passive, active, or pro-active.
  • Recovery is closely tied to situational conditions.

Furthermore, Kellmann und Kallus (2001) defined recovery as

an inter-individual and intra-individual multi-level (e.g., psychological, physiological, social) process in time for the re-establishment of performance abilities. Recovery includes an action-oriented component, and those self-initiated activities (proactive recovery) can be systematically used to optimize situational conditions and to build up and refill personal resources and buffers (p. 22).

This definition also demonstrates the complexity of recovery, as discussed in more detail by Kellmann (2002a), and highlights the need to individually tailor recovery activities.

The RESTQ-Sport consists of 77 items (19 scales with four items each plus one warm-up item), which the participants answer retrospectively. A Likert-type scale is used with values ranging from 0 (never) to 6 (always) indicating how often the respondent participated in various activities during the past 3 days/nights. High scores in the stress-associated activity scales reflect intense subjective stress, whereas high scores in the recovery-oriented scales indicate good recovery activities.

The RESTQ-Sport consists of seven general stress scales (General Stress, Emotional Stress, Social Stress, Conflicts/Pressure, Fatigue, Lack of Energy, Physical Complaints), five general recovery scales (Success, Social Recovery, Physical Recovery, General Well-being, Sleep Quality), three sport-specific stress scales (Disturbed Breaks, Emotional Exhaustion, Injury), and four sport-specific recovery scales (Being in Shape, Personal Accomplishment, Self-Efficacy, Self-Regulation). Examples of items would be: “In the past (3) days/nights … my body felt strong” (for the scale Being in Shape) or “In the past (3) days/nights … I had a satisfying sleep” (for the scale Sleep Quality).

When talking to coaches, it appears easier to frame the current topic as underrecovery rather than overtraining. It is the coaches’ job to train athletes at the optimal level (which is often at the limit); however, they should also avoid overtraining. Coaches may be much more receptive to working with the concept of underrecovery because it acknowledges that underrecovery can also be due to factors, which are outside of their control. The diagnosis of overtraining and underrecovery, should be determined only by an interdisciplinary team that is able and willing to share the data to allow for a comprehensive assessment of the athlete. To optimize this process, the consultation of athletes should be conducted in consultation with coaches, sport physicians, and sport psychologists. Consequently, all physiological and psychological data, as well as training and performance data should be shared on an interdisciplinary basis (Kellmann, 2002a; Smith & Norris, 2002). Assessment should include a complete training documentation, the assessment of subjective and objective physiological and psychological data, and the integration of an athletes’ perspective. It is important that psychological testing like lactate testing, also be part of the regular training routine. Furthermore, research in sport psychology should systematically focus on psychological interventions, which help to optimize the recovery process, ideally in combination with physiological interventions.

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