Since becoming a triathlete in 2010, I have gone through the feeling of being “burnt out” many times. It’s crazy looking back that I got burnt out even the first season I did triathlon, but that’s because if I’m completely honest with you all, it’s because I trained nearly 100% solo, and I took everything really seriously. I rarely missed a workout, and triathlon was my life, rather than a part of my life. The #1 recipe for burn out. Being passionate about it, and having it be a lifestyle, is very different from feeling like every workout has to adhere to exactly what is on “the plan”. I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about. 🙂
Through my experience, I want to share how to prevent burn out, or how to get over it, if you are going through it right now. 🙂
1. Do Group Stuff! – Make training social. Make it fun! I love catching up with friends while we ride and run. It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Spend quality time with friends, and also workout. I used to feel like I had to stick to exactly what was on my plan, but now, if there’s a group thing, I’m more likely there, than not. Especially if it’s a group ride on Saturday.
2. Take a recovery week. Trim down those hours. Either take a full week off of training, or really cut it down to maybe only 4-7hrs of training. So, that you have a bit more free time to do whatever you feel like, even if that’s simply being a bum on the couch and watching t.v. It honestly is a great way to recharge the batteries if you ask me.
3. Get good sleep. Be mindful when your body is feeling run down, and you have put in some hard efforts. Prioritize sleep so that you can truly gain the benefits that come from it by getting 8-9hrs, maybe even 10 if your body needs it.
4. Be social not working out. I’m definitely a homebody, but when I go out to dinner with friends, or maybe go to the beach for a bit, I get re-energized by doing something different, and spending time with the people I love.
5. Reflect. Write down what you have accomplished, and what it felt like.
6. Eat the food you love. I love indulging in pizza and ice cream, as a lot of you know, so don’t be afraid to some times let loose, and not be so strict for a week here or there. Especially after big races. It’s OK to indulge every once in awhile.
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. The fresh air can really bring peace to the mind, body, and soul.
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. A true vacation. No emails, no phone, unplug, and relax. I need one of those, soon, I think. haha.
9. Change your routes up. If you find yourself stuck in a rut of the same routes, try something new, it can really freshen up training.
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 during training, but sometimes just putting on those feel good songs, can totally change my mood. Sometimes to get me pumped up I listen to music in the car, in the shower, eating lunch, cleaning the house, and it feels good to just sing and dance my way through the week!
Hope this helps some of you. I know many are transitioning to the off-season, so take advantage of it! And workout when you feel like, don’t worry about structure, and enjoy some extra time with friends and family. What do you do to get over burn out?