Burnout: exhaustion of physical or emotional strength usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.
Have you been there? I have so I am writing from experience, at least on the recovery part.
Several weeks ago I began to notice something about my runs, they were no longer fun. I did not look forward to them. I did not feel great afterwards. I could not even do a training run anywhere near my abilities. At first I wrote it off to the heat. Then stress at work. Then poor food choices. Anything to keep from facing the reality of the situation. After a couple of weeks of denial I realized I was suffering from burnout. Physical and mental exhaustion.
After you realize what is happening you need to figure out why so you can stop it. Examine what you have been doing, both in training and outside of your training since it all plays a part. Have you taken on new obligations to your time or new responsibilities at work? Have you changed your sleep habits? Have you changed your diet? Have you changed your workout routine?
In my case it was a combination of things that led to burnout. Lack of sleep, trying to do to much with to little time, and skipping something I love doing in my workouts, running trails.
After deciding what had caused it the remedy was easy. Sleep more meant less time in front of the tv and computer and made me cut back on activities that, while I enjoy them, were taking up to much time. Changing my workouts was easy and running more trails was an easy fix.
Watch out for the warning signs, some of them are; inconsistent performance, fatigue, problems sleeping, lack of enjoyment, depression, and low energy levels.
If you notice any of these be proactive about it. Take a hard look and figure out the cause. Change your routine. Take some time off or cut back your training. Talk to someone about it, another perspective can be really helpful.
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