Have you ever been out on a run and thought, why am I doing this?
Have you ever been getting ready for a run and started to feel a sense of dread or anxiety? Have you been skipping runs or just preforming poorly on your workouts?
You could be experiencing runners burnout.
Whether you've been running for 10+ years or only been running a few months, experiencing a mental burnout can happen to anyone who is training at a high level (subjectively). If you are training for races all year round, or in a routine where you are running almost every day, you may begin to feel the symptoms of a mental or physical burnout.
You could be feeling fatigued, lethargic, unmotivated, even have a sense of dread or anxiety before a run. Your running performance could start to suffer and runs that used to be easy feel a lot harder.
If this sounds familiar here are some ways to battle mental burn out:
-Stop training/competing for a while.
Get back to the basics and re-discover your love for running. If you are a competitive runner you may need to take a small break from competitive racing. Run with friends or sign up for a fun run. Stop wearing a watch and run by feel, go to your favorite spots and enjoy the scenery. Maybe just take a couple weeks off of running all together. Walk more, ride your bike or pick up swimming laps for a change of pace.
-Run with friends or a running club.
Sometimes a mental burnout just needs a new perspective. Run with friends and feed off of their energy, discover why others love running to help you re-discover why you loved it! Have them show you their favorite running spots and try running a new pace.
-Change your environment.
If you run in the same place everyday consider changing it up! If you are a treadmill runner try running on a track or outside. If you are a road runner, go find some trails. If you always run in your city try running in a different one on the weekends! Sign up for new races, don't just do the same ones year after year.
-Sign up for a different type of event.
If you have always ran road races, try a trail race. If you have never done a triathlon, get a bike and start swimming! Maybe obstacle races are your new found love! Get out and try new things! Keep running interesting and make sure your training doesn't get stale.
If you start to develop physical symptoms as well as the mental you may be experiencing overtraining. Excessive fatigue, decreased performance, weight loss or gain, prolonged soreness, and swollen lymph glands could all be symptoms of over training. This should be taken seriously and if you are concerned, you should visit your doctor. Rest and prioritize recovery.
Running can be a great lifelong sport or hobby when you listen to your body and take care of yourself. If you are starting to feel burnout, be sure to listen to what your body needs. Keep things fresh, recover properly, and reduce overtraining.
-See you on the road