That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

little bit of burnout

I love running. But at times, it feels a bit like a second job. I love my job, too. But running and my job both have a high potential for burnout - a lot of effort put in, and the returns aren't always immediate. Some days, they're not there at all and some days it feels like I'm working backwards. But what I love about both things is that when there are rewards, they're FREAKING AMAZING and that's what keeps me going at both things.

Right now, I'm checking in with myself about running and working out in general. I've had two craptastic runs in a row and a few more scattered in there recently - although my 12 mile run on Saturday pretty much couldn't have gone better. While the weather is NO help, I also think I may be overtraining a little. This is also one of those times where I have to develop some tunnel vision with regard to my training. I don't train as much as some. My mileage isn't back up to where some people's is - heck, it's not even up to where I was before. But I've been overdoing it FOR ME, and that needs to be fixed.

Signs I'm becoming a bit burned out:

-More tired lately
-More irritable lately
-More things hurt
-More forcing myself to work out
-I feel guilty when I have nothing to do, like if I have any down time at all I NEED to squeeze in some kind of workout (I feel like this one is probably more common amongst triathletes)

I wanted to do a 10 mile run today, because I can't do a long run this weekend and I'm not planning on doing one next week, because I need to be WELL-RESTED if I'm going to do an Olympic tri. That. Was. Dumb. I've been hurting a bit more than usual, and I JUST EFFING RAN 12 MILES LESS THAN A WEEK AGO. Plus, it was hot and humid and gross.

I made it five miles. I took a break for water and stretching and decided to run the five mile loop again. I barely made it one mile and stopped to regroup. I decided to try to keep going. A half mile later and I was done. I was hot, woozy, a little delirious, my calf hurt, my hip was tight, a blister on my toe was killing me, I was running way slower than even my usual long run pace, and I was trying to force it.

So my run ended up being 7.5 miles (I walked a half mile and then decided to jog so I could get to my car faster.) And I decided that running 7.5 miles is far from failing. I also decided to ease up on the exercise for the rest of the week. I may do a few miles easy on the bike and an easy swim if I decide I WANT to. I'll do the same for next week. Lots of stretching for sure, but only easy exercise and only if I want to do it, not because I feel obligated to follow a training plan or because I go "OH MY GOD IF I DON'T GO FOR A RUN/BIKE/SWIM TONIGHT AND DO EVERY SINGLE INCH THAT I'M PLANNING TO DO THEN I WON'T FINISH THE RACE!!!!!!"

I need a break, that's all. It probably won't even need to be a long one, I just need to feel less worn out physically and mentally and be happy to be doing both of the tris I'm doing. If I'm happy, I'll be fast. If I train until I'm miserable, I'll be dragging myself to the finish line anyway.

I have netflix on the xbox and ben and jerrys in the freezer and beer in the fridge. I think I'll be all right with this resting thing.


  1. This happened to me a few years ago. Seems one needs to be careful with tri training especially. Right now I'm debating swimming this morning (I'm also running tonight) or going to lowes right when they open to buy a tomato plant (had to tear one out that had disease). Maybe the trip to lowes will prevent ME from feeling burned out.

  2. Your race is the 24th right? You seem to be FINE on mileage. You only have to run a 10K, and if you just did 12 two weeks ago, you obviously have the endurance to pull it off. Have you considered switching your runs to speed workouts at the track or something? It's a great way to make those damn run workouts less monotonous and provide some new challenge. You are doing awesome!!!!!

  3. @Lisa - I think it is something that can come with tri training, although I probably got a bit obsessive with marathon training last time around too. For me it's a lot of mental crap. I get so worried about undertraining that I end up overtraining. When I first decided to do a tri, I got completely gung-ho. From May 28 (Tri for Joe) until we started moving June 24, I literally took ONE rest day. ONE. It was the day after I did the 63 mile ride. I probably shouldn't count June 24-26 as rest days, either, since I was moving all three days. I think I just went a little insane and if I rest now, it'll work itself out.

    @M - Yeah, the Oly is the 24th. I want my speed to be as good as it can be, but realistically, I have the endurance to finish. I've been neglecting the bike lately due to weather, time, and hip issues and I'm a little bummed that I may be slower on the bike than I'd like, but I can do it. My running mileage concerns are more with the upcoming marathon than the tri! I'm still right in line with my marathon training plan. It's low mileage as far as 26.2 plans go, but I had to pretty much start over from scratch two months ago with running. I'll still make it. :)

    I was being cautious with the speed workouts due to the recent injury, but I was considering trying to add some speedwork after the Oly!

  4. Oh yeah, the kicker with that rest day is that I was still considering going to the gym to swim laps and a coworker actually talked me out of it!! Yes, early warning signs that I was creating a monster. :) Rest should kill the monster!!