Tips on How to Avoid Exercise Burnout
It is very easy to go overboard when it comes to training which can lead to injury, burnout and a cycle of diminishing returns. I like to try my best to focus on my "why" - what drives me, inspires me, motivates me - and keep this in the front of my mind when I am having one of those days (you know what I'm talking about).
Balance is something that is easier said than done, but it is important in all aspects of life - especially training. We push our bodies to the limit on hard training days and race days, so finding balance is key in recovery and in remembering why we started.
Here are some tips that I find helpful to keep my mind and body in the game:
Don't limit yourself to one form of exercise. I like to have a good balance of running, strength training and yoga in our training schedule.
Make exercise social. On the weekends I love to find ways to make exercise a group activity with friends and family. Some of my favorites include indoor rock climbing, paddle boarding, kayaking and biking.
Make sure to spend time on other hobbies that make you happy. Whether it's playing guitar, painting, photography, reading, etc. Make an effort to spend time on all the things that make you, YOU.
Keep a training journal. I find that when I record my training it keeps me honest, motivated and increases self awareness. In addition to tracking mileage and workouts, I like to track my mood and motivation levels. This is a tip I adopted from the pros - being able to review your training is the best way to grow as an athlete.
Let your body rest. Rest days are part of the training. That doesn't mean sit on the couch all day and eat everything in site. I treat rest days as days where I focus on active recovery, other hobbies and/or letting my body recover. Find what works for you and learn to appreciate how far you have come.
Spend time with friends and family. Training can be time consuming and is definitely a commitment, but try to be mindful when putting together your schedule. Make time for friends and family and try to find an even balance. You can still go to the party, but don't have to be the last to leave. Your loved ones are your support system and it may take some time, but they will understand and will be there at the finish to celebrate all of your successes! Who knows, you may end up inspiring them to join you on this incredible journey.