July 23, 2013

My Journey to 26.2: Burnout (006)

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the mileage, maybe it's the mental challenge...it's probably a combination of all three, but lately I've been feeling burned out.  I have been doing well hitting the mileage and paces in my training plan, but I feel like something needs to give.  My long runs in particular have left me feeling really drained, mentally and physically.  They've been a challenge.  And to be honest, I've sort of been dreading them.  I knew it was time to take a hard look at my runs and reevaluate so I can still successfully train for and race the races on the calendar...with a smile on my face!

1. Take a break. After next week's long run, I plan to take a step back and chill out on running a bit.  To maintain my fitness, I plan to substitute swimming and biking for running.

2. Refresh my playlist. My playlist is a bit tired so I'm working on a new mix with some new jams and old favorites.  I'm also going to try out podcasts since I hear so many other runners enjoying them.

3. Consult the experts.  I flipped through Jeff Galloway's marathon book and he stresses focusing on a mantra, slowing down and intervening early to avoid major burnout.

4. Make it fun. I have a fun, local 5k on the horizon this weekend.  Mom is coming up to run with me and we'll be running in some patriotic garb since the race benefits Operation Homefront.  I love racing and I think it will give me a confidence boost.

5. Lose the watch.  I plan to take one of my runs without a watch this week so I can run "free."

6. Talk to people. For a while, I've been a bit cautious about talking about how crummy I feel about my long runs but after mentioning it to a few running buddies, I'm learning I'm not the only one suffering this summer and slogging through my runs.

7. Don't beat yourself up.  I'm 1000% guilty of this.  If I have a bad run, I stress about it.  I let it bother me...more than I should.  I'm working on changing my attitude about my runs and taking it for what it is...a fun activity that helps me stay fit!

Want to read more?  A few good articles on running burnout:
4 Rules to Avoid Runner Burnout from Active
To Avoid Burnout, Have Fun from Competitor
Feeling down about your run lately? Time to reenergize mind and body from Jeff Galloway

How do you handle burnout?  Would love to hear your tips!
{Christine}

14 comments:

  1. I'm having the same problem. I'd say it's the summer heat, but it's also largely just the increased mileage that goes along with marathon training. I'm not fast, so the mileage takes time and the heat doesn't help. All this adds up to a really cranky runner.
    The upside is that the DC summer will totally prepare me to run the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October and the fall is not only cooler but will have three Disney races to look forward to--Tower of Terror, Wine & Dine and Dopey in January!

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    1. Yes - all those Disney races are a good carrot!!

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  2. I'm finding myself wishing I signed up for a spring marathon so that my training was in the winter. This summer stuff is no joke. I usually take it easy in the summer since I hate running in the heat but I can't exactly do that with Hood to Coast, Dumbo, and MCM breathing down my neck! So, needless to say, I totally hear you on this post!

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    1. You and me both...especially since it's my first marathon, I'm nervous!

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  3. Great tips Christine! I've been struggling with running in this horrible summer heat and humidity and been doing so many runs on the treadmill, and mentally it is hard when I usually look forward to my outdoor runs.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one struggling to mentally manage the long runs. It's a LONG time on the road, alone, in the heat!

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  4. Thanks for sharing Christine! I slow my pace down for sure in this heat and humidity, feel like I am running into a wall lately ;0 Even though it is horrible outside, it is much more enjoyable for me than on the Tmill so I just relax and try to get in the groove on my longer runs.
    Oh yea, a new pair of flashy shoes don't hurt either!

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    1. Ooh flashy shoes! :) I'm actually not a treadmill hater and have been doing my weeknight runs on them routinely. I may have to start splitting some of my miles for long runs outside and on treadmill.

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  5. I know how this feels. The heat is a killer and it makes me think I should stop running all together. I have had a difficult with Double Dare Dumbo training due to this hot weather. I am reminded of the reward I feel at the end of finishing a race. I change my music up too! I also find buying a new outfit for running makes me feel motivated. The other thing that might help is to get a pedicure or massage. Reward yourself with accomplishing your long runs! Keep running!

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    1. Rewards are a great idea! I love that - thanks Sarah! I will definitely keep that in mind.

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  6. I'm not sure if I'm facing burnout or just a summer slump but I've been experiencing the same feelings as you the last week or so.

    I'm hitting my mileage and paces okay but I just don't feel excited about my runs. I've even started running on the treadmill even though I normally hate running on the treadmill and LOVE running outdoors. I think I was just getting bored with my normal routes and needed a bit of change. Hoping to get out of this slump with a run down to the beach today! Hope you get past the burnout soon too!

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    1. Thanks Kristina...reading your comments felt like you were reading my mind. I guess I'm not the only one struggling this summer.

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  7. Find a friend to ride next to you on a bike for your long runs. They can carry your water and stay with your pace. My husband does this for me and the time and mileage goes by fast. He also carries all the extras. Denise.

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  8. Definitely not just you! I feel like the weather really hasn't been helping the situation and running really just hasn't been appealing lately. Unlike you though I really haven't been getting in my full mileage and definitely haven't been doing any speed work like I had planned! Good job trying to identify some things to help the burnout and taking a little break to do some other cross training - I think that should really help!

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