I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately. As much as I prefer working out outside, even in the winter, there comes a point in a Vermont winter when I just am tired of the COLD!

Plus, all of the reading I have been doing lately has been making it very clear that weight training is essential to keep your body holding on to its muscle as you lose weight, and it is especially important for women of a certain age. Ahem.

With the official start of my triathlon training just around the corner, I did some research about how to avoid overtraining. As soon as you start reading real fitness blogs, the information can get so technical. I just don’t have the time to endlessly strategize about tempo runs, fartlek, max VO2 and all that stuff. I just want to train decently and avoid getting injured or burned out. So I was delighted to find the following SIMPLE advice to avoid overtraining:

  • Aim to work out six days a week. Make sure to fully rest at least one day.
  • Make three workouts “easy” days. You can still work out for an hour, but at a relaxed intensity, like yoga, or an easy jog. You should be able to chat with a friend the whole time.
  • Make two workouts “HIIT” days… i.e. High Intensity Interval Training. For example, today I ran five miles on the treadmill. After a 1/2 mile warmup, I cycled through 1/4 mile intervals of gradually increasing and then decreasing speed. I did three cycles by the time I was at 4.5 miles, and then cooled down.
  • Make one workout an endurance day. A long run, cycling with a good hill climb, etc.
  • Don’t do two hard workouts in a row.

You don’t have to be an athlete to apply this advice to your own exercise regimen. The basic message is to mix it up, and you’ll get the results you are looking for. It’s as simple as that!