Sorry for being MIA most of last week with blog posts, but I’m back and feeling well rested and ready to tackle this coming week, after my rest day tomorrow:) I’m finishing up my recovery week today, with a short bike and a short swim, and I’ve realized why recovery weeks are so important. And why it’s important to take two weeks of full out recovery after races, and it is to prevent burn out. Also understanding the different between quality days and non-quality days. For me, I’ve always been an all or nothing person, and I’ve only just recently discovered that even though I tend to be like this, I crave variety and variety is what keeps me feeling fresh. So, the steps I’ve taken to get over feeling burnt out:
1. Sign up for group classes. I signed up for master’s swim team, and I’ve signed up for a group cycling class. Both of which I’m doing with my new triathlon friend Kristen!
2. Take a recovery week. Trim down those hours. For me a recovery week is 7-10 hours of training. It felt amazing to lighten up my training mode, because it made me that much more excited to get out and train.
3. Get good sleep. I’m very sensitive to caffeine as some of you know, and when I have heavy training weeks, I sometimes use caffeinated gels, which end up keeping me up, and not allowing me to get good sleep. So, I stayed caffeine free this week, and got great sleep.
4. Be social. I went out to dinner with two good friends this week and had dinner with my parents, and also got to spend some quality time with my boyfriend. This helped, because when I get into heavy training weeks, I tend to not be very social because there isn’t a lot of time. Being social and catching up with friends and family can relieve stress.
5. Reflect. I allowed myself to reflect deeply on the season, and how far I’ve come. This is my first tri season, and I started to put pressure on myself right from the start. I mean look at my blog title: “Tri”ing for Pro. I realized that I love being active, I love to compete, and the only thing that matters every time I race and train is that I’m having fun. I need to make small successes for me, and they don’t always have to show on the race results page.
6. Eat good food. This week I had a turkey burger, sweet potato fries, regular fries, a regular burger, an ice cream sandwich, a delicious garlic chicken salad, Chipotle burrito bowl, etc. Sometimes during heavy training weeks, I only have time or my stomach can only handle the repetitive peanut butter and honey sandwich, or pasta, or a bagel with cream cheese, so this week I allowed myself to have fun and eat good hardy food. I was in heaven.
7. Go for a Walk. Usually runs clear my head, but sometimes to not be stressing about pace or distance, walks can be even better for clearing our heads. I took a nice casual walk, and just allowed myself to breath in the fresh air coming off Lake Michigan, and feel good about life.
8. Plan a Vacation. Seriously, I think most Americans don’t vacation enough, there usually isn’t enough time, but most other countries and cultures have it right. We all deserve at least 4 one week vacations a year. Seriously, this is what I think. It keeps us all fresh. I realized I haven’t had a vacation since March, and I was probably starting to feel stale because of that, and although I won’t get a full week’s vacation until December over the holidays, just thinking about it helped.
9. Change your routes up. I usually run on the lake path, but this week I decided to run through parks, and run at different times, so instead of running at 11am or noon right in the heat of the day, I ran after I taught class, or right after a client, or between clients, and this kept training this week fresh.
10. Breathe and put on some good tunes. Seriously, who says music doesn’t help soothe the soul? In my opinion, music can be such a healer. I never listen to my ipod anymore during training, because I gave it up when I was training for the Boston marathon, and I have gotten used to it, but sometimes just putting on those feel good songs, can totally change my mood. I listened to music all week, in the car, in the shower, eating lunch, cleaning the house, and it felt good to just sing and dance my way through the week!
What do you do to get over burn out?