What Running Too Much Does To Your Body

Running is one of the simplest ways to exercise. All is takes is a good pair of shoes and some comfortable clothes and you can be on your way to ramping up your fitness. But, with all forms of exercise, it is possible to take things too far, or try and do too much too soon, and put yourself at risk of injury.

When you're training to run a particular event — say a 5 or 10K, or a half- or full-marathon — you'll want to follow a good training program. The rule of thumb to look for is one that calls for increasing your mileage by no more than 10 percent each week for three weeks in a row. During the fourth week, you should decrease your mileage by 10 percent to give your body a chance to recover and rebuild (via Runner's World).

Some runners will find that they feel pretty good at this level of training, so they'll push to increase their mileage. That's can take a toll on your body. Physical symptoms to watch out for include a decrease in overall energy levels, an increase in your heart rate when you first wake, and the need to decrease your running pace.

Don't chase away the runner's high

Overtraining can also lead to a general feeling of malaise and illness. That's because, just like your muscles, your immune system can become stressed and fatigued by too much exercise, according to Insider. You should watch out for an achy feeling, as if you're getting the flu, and cut back your running if it starts to come on.

The rush of endorphins that produces a "runner's high" is a beloved feeling for many devotees of the sport. But too much running can suppress those endorphins and bring on mood swings and depression. This can be further exacerbated by hormone fluctuations that lead to poor sleep and make you groggy and cranky when you're awake. To continue enjoying the euphoric feeling of a good run, be sure to keep your training at a sensible level and monitor your body.

If you find you're battling continual injuries and not healing well, it could be the result of overtraining. According to Very Well Fit, our body sustains minor injury during all exercise, but heals and recovers during rest periods. If you're not allowing enough rest to compensate for the amount you're running, you could be pushing your body too hard, too fast.

Running is enjoyable and can be a lifetime sport. But take it slowly, and listen to your body as it tells you what it needs to maintain overall balance and health.