Brechtel, L. M., Braumann,K. M., & Wolff, R. (1999). Time course of symptoms during the development of a parasympathetic overtraining syndrome. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 786.

The effects of seven weeks of overtraining (increased training volume and intensity) on long-distance runners (N = 7) were evaluated weekly. Symptoms of overload (overreaching) emerged after three weeks of training, and overtraining was exhibited after 5.5 weeks of the experience. The total number of musculo-skeletal, health, sleep, and mood changes increased in overload training, but were reduced, but not back to normal, in overtraining. Disruptive symptoms remained for up to four weeks after termination of the study.

Implication. Overreaching produces more and varied disturbance symptoms than when an athlete is overtrained. Varied and disrupted responses should be used as signals that training is excessive.

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