Too Much Too Soon

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Too Much Too Soon (TMTS) is a form of Overtraining where a new exercise stress is increased too quickly, without giving sufficient time for the body to adjust.

  • TMTS causes injuries such as tendon damage, stress fractures or muscle damage, but without the generalized fatigue, performance degradation and mood changes associated with Overtraining Syndrome.
  • TMTS is more likely to impact a well-trained athlete. There is often an expectation from a well-trained athlete that their specialized fitness should translate to an equivalent performance in a new activity.
  • A new sport or a new form of cross training is commonly associated with TMTS. I have a friend who tried an elliptical trainer for the first time and damaged their calf muscles to the point they could not walk properly for a week. This was a particular problem as they had their first half marathon four days after the event and they could not start.
  • Seemingly minor changes to Running Form can often produce TMTS injuries. The most common example is seen in runners who move from traditional Shoes to minimal or barefoot running. These injuries can be quite serious, including stress fractures in the foot. This type of change to Running Form should be treated as if it is a new sport or a new runner, starting from scratch and retraining slowly.
  • TMTS is similar to Overuse, but whereas TMTS is due to a sudden change in exercise stress, Overuse is a longer term (chronic) problem.