Have you fell victim to burnout in your swim, bike, run or multi-sport (i.e. triathlon) routine or season? I have completed five run race seasons and concluding my fourth triathlon season currently. I have experienced some sort of burnout or fatigue at the end of triathlon seasons. In today’s post, I’ll share ways to identify and prevent burnout.
How can you tell if you are burned out? I have found the following components in play:
- Not feeling excited about the upcoming day or week of training
- Going through the motions during workouts vs. having a very intentional plan with an edge
- Being on auto pilot preparing for race day
- Not having the ability to drive through discomfort and pain during the race
- Feeling tired often (physically and emotionally)
I am one vulnerable for burnout as usually when I get into something I’m all in. One benefit from getting older however is learning more about yourself and then making changes to live more optimally. I have pressed hard in my race seasons and have made adjustments to the following season based on how things played out. I also factored in what my new goals were for the upcoming season and they have continued to get better from this perspective.
I think it is inevitable to feel some sort of fatigue or burnout at the end of a season when working hard to accomplish goals. The “post big race blues” is normal as well and that has coincided with my triathlon seasons by ending with an Ironman or National Championship race.
These are factors I now proactively consider to prevent burnout:
- Identify the “A” races for the season and know that every race cannot be an “A” race
- Solicit advice or hire a coach to plan the season and share what the “A” races are; come join Total Fitness!
- For a long season/year, schedule a clear break in the schedule to clear the mind and provide the body a chance to recover
- Identify goals for each discipline to accomplish; i.e. swim at 1:30 per 100m, run a 5k under 22 minutes, etc.
- Mix training solo with friends and teammates; I love doing both but I would caution against a pure solo training routine as you miss out on community and accountability; there is nothing more rewarding then celebrating accomplishments after races with your friends
- Change venues for workouts and races; even if you have to travel a bit to a different venue it keeps things fresh and you get to explore new areas
- Add events that are out of the ordinary; i.e. relays, century ride, river swims
- Attend or volunteer at races; the environment is inspiring and can easily infuse motivation
I am in the midst of planning my run (Sept-Feb) and triathlon (Mar-Sept 2019) seasons with a probable entry of Duathlons coming into the mix from Jan-Apr. I am considering all of the factors listed above to avoid burnout and have yet another invigorating year of racing!
– Add Health to Your Life