As runners we’ve all been there. We’ve slogged through miles and miles and we’re just sick of it. We’ve hit the wall. We’ve burnt-out. Ray and I talked about it on our Podcast and so I thought I’d write a blog post all about burnout, how to recognize it, what it feels like and how to combat it. Check it out!
Burnout what is it?
We’re not talking about that kid in high school who was a burnout. We’re talking about burning out on any activity that you’ve done repetitively for a long period of time. You just get to a point where enough is enough. You’re done. You’re toasted. You want to move on to something new.
What does it feel like?
Burnout can rear it’s ugly head in a number of ways. It can be more physical or it can be more mental. I’ve had both for sure. When it was more physical I noticed things like, not being able to sleep well through the night, my legs were just constantly sore, increased heart rate, and that I would get sick more often. When training for the Philly marathon it was more mental, I just noticed myself having a more and more difficult time getting out there each day. I was in great shape and didn’t feel hurt or anything there was just a general malaise I felt come over me whenever I was thinking about running. Running became stale, just the monotony of running over and over again every day wore on me. Easy runs became hard and hard runs became impossible.
Should I run through it?
No. If you’re feeling “burnt-out” definitely take some time off and think about relaxing both physically and mentally. You’re best bet is to isolate whether it’s more of a physical issue or a mental issue. But do not run through it. Some folks like to think if I can just get through this I’ll see tremendous gains on the other side. You may…but you may also end up hating running and injured.
How do I get over it?
By taking a break, if you have a coach talk to them about how you’re feeling and schedule in a solid block of time off. If you don’t have a coach build some time off into your schedule and talk to some of your fellow runners about how you are feeling. I know that when I’m feeling burnt out, talking to someone helps me feel better about it for sure. Just knowing I’m not the only person who has been through this, is enough to help me get over it. But the key to avoiding burn out is recognizing it early, listening to yourself and backing off when you need to.