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Jun 26, 2019

The Mysterious Syndrome Destroying Top Athletes

OTS can afflict anyone who takes a more-is-more approach to their sport. (Photo: lzf/iStock)
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A while back, Outside contributor Meaghen Brown noticed a strange phenomenon among the elite ultrarunners that she was training with. Runners would come on the scene, win races and smash records, and then a few years later succumb to a mysterious ailment that left them a shadow of their former selves. Top athletes were suddenly lethargic, depressed, and unable to train, and doctors couldn’t tell them why. Their problem, it turned out, was overtraining syndrome, or OTS. One researcher called it “the scariest thing I've seen in my time studying athletes.” And it’s not just runners that are at risk. In this episode, we look at how OTS can afflict anyone who takes a more-is-more approach to their sport.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.

The Mysterious Syndrome Destroying Top Athletes Podcast