How to Avoid Runner Burnout
Enjoy rest days. They’re a vital part of training and crucial to your success.
Avid runners don’t traditionally enjoy days off. I can fully relate, as I was skeptical that taking a day off of training would help me in the slightest. I mistakenly believed that rest days were for the weak, but I was wrong.
Rest days are one of the most crucial parts of training for runners. After enduring strenuous exercise day after day, it’s important to allow your body to recover and repair the muscles that you have tirelessly worn down. Constantly feeling sore during your workouts will hurt you in the long-term and may affect your motivation to continue your rigorous training regimen. You may experience fatigue and your passion for running might start to dissipate if you seldom give your body time to heal. Don’t stress out about taking a rest day. You’ve earned it.
Be conscious of your weekly mileage. Don’t overwork your body by running yourself into the ground.
Be weary of increasing your mileage. This increases the chance of injury and may set your training back.
While endurance athletes are known for their high mileage training, adding additional miles to your weekly training schedule is not always the best. If you’re training for a 5k or a longer distance, you’re likely already running pretty high mileage. Increasing your mileage only increases your chance of injury. There are other ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness and your VO2 max — cross-training. Cross-training is a form of exercise that puts little strain on your body, often utilized by athletes who are injured. However, it is also a crucial part of training for many athletes who are not injured, especially for runners. Instead of adding mileage and risking a potential injury that may set you back for weeks or even months, go for a swim or a bike ride. It might ease some of your tension, and you may find it rather enjoyable.
Change your scenery. It’s amazing how a change of pace can enhance your mental state.
Listening to the birds chirping and the calmness of the Earth is exhilarating and is a peaceful environment that motivates me to run.
Running in the same place gets repetitive. It’s important to vary your workouts so you look forward to your runs rather than dread them. If you’re used to running on streets or sidewalks, try trail running. I can attest that trail running never gets old. Running in nature gives me a peaceful state of mind and is when I’m my happiest.
Runner burnout is quite common and I know this feeling all too well. Through years of running, it has allowed me to grow and learn from my past mistakes.
If you grow to enjoy taking a rest day every once in a while and commit to cross-training in place of increased mileage, you will not succumb to runner burnout.