Coping with Burnout

Models: Pipko and Jasmina, Assisted by Jesse Rosenthal and Andrea HeapBurnout often comes from setting goal upon goal – and before you know it months (maybe years!) have gone by, and at some point you just don’t want to run. This is normal. Especially if you often train for the same distance, or the same annual races, and have little physical or mental change.

Take comfort in knowing that what you are going through is totally normal. Also tell yourself that maybe some time off from running will help. Whether you take a few days, weeks, or months, this time off is important. if you try to power through for the next six months, things often get worse. Taking the break NOW means you will come back mentally and physically recharged and refocused, and unless you stop all exercise, your fitness will not suffer much.

Find something else that you enjoy to do with your time. Yoga. Beach Volleyball. Swimming. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be active. Arts and crafts. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Just do something that mentally excites and interests you.

If you loved running before, you’ll love it again. And if you are worried about that hopeful PR on the horizon, relax. Autumn Marathon warriors still have plenty of time to take a break, and still build base mileage before the hard work begins. Remember, your training plan does not have to fit into the cookie cutter 16, 18, or 20 week sizes, though they certainly are popular. Adjust for what you need in order to get to the starting line mentally and physically ready to race. Perhaps a break from running is just what you need.

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