Marathon Blog

Ways to Avoid Training Burnout

By Laurie Lasseter, Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers





Let’s face it, training for a marathon is tough. And repetitive. Rest assured, occasional burnout is normal, even for the most elite athletes. Push through with one my five top tips for keeping training boredom and burnout at bay.

  1. Ease up (or race!) Take an assessment to determine if your burnout stems from overtraining or from staleness/boredom. If you show symptoms of overtraining – higher-than-normal resting heart rate, chronic muscle and/or joint aches, persistent fatigue, difficulty in completing normal workouts – it’s time to ease up on your training volume and/or intensity. On the other hand, if you’re feeling bored with your running workouts, it might be time to schedule a shorter race. Just don’t overdo the racing before the marathon. A 5k or two, a few months before the marathon, or a half marathon approximately 4-6 weeks before your marathon, is fine. These shorter races should help you hone your performance for the marathon.

  1. Plan long run rewards.Choose a reward that you give yourself only in relation to your long runs. This might be a special pre-run meal, post-run treat or activity, or a special new audiobook or music download to listen to during your run.

  1. Mix it up.Make sure your training plan has a good mix of pacing, run lengths and terrain. And, change the type of cross training you do occasionally to ensure you don’t do the same workouts day after day, week after week.

  1. Release the pressure!It’s okay to have time goals in key races, but if you find you’re putting undue pressure on yourself to meet time goals in every workout, it’s probably time to ease up for a while and focus on just enjoying your runs.

  1. Create a support system.Make time for running group activities, which allow you to connect and commiserate with other runners and can give your training a big boost. For more information, check out my July post – Community Spirit.