Recognize The Signs Of Running Burnout

Suffering from runner's burnout
Suffering from runner's burnout

The thought of going for your usual five-mile run just doesn’t generate the same excitement it used to for you. Your Monday run group friends keep texting asking why they haven’t seen you in three weeks. And you noticed you haven’t put any 10k races on your calendar for the upcoming few months. Is it possible you are becoming “burned out” on running? Who me? The guy who used to read every running magazine cover to cover as soon as the new issue came out? Sorry to break it to you but even the most “die-hard” fan can experience the blues and blahs associated with too much of a good thing! Let’s take a closer look into what causes the “valley” in this roller coaster ride and how to pull yourself out of it! After all, we started out as a running electrolyte replacement drink company over forty years ago so we have a few miles under our belt!

Burnout can have many causes but here are the most common:

  1. Doing the same motion over and over again! If you are going for a five-mile run every day and that is your only form of exercise, chances are your body isn’t getting the variety of stimulus it needs. We need to move in on all three planes of motion. If you are just running you are only training your sagittal plane (front to back movement). You also need to address your other two planes, the frontal (side-to-side motion) and the transverse (rotational movement). How to fix it:
    • Substitute two of your running days with a fitness class that incorporates all sorts of movement
    • Workout with a trainer once a week and let them know your goal of getting a variety of movement
    • Tackle that yoga class you’ve always been thinking about. Yoga utilizes all three planes of motion
  1. When the “routine” becomes routine! A routine can provide comfort and order in our world of chaos and confusion. You always take the same route when you jog and see the same people walking their dogs. But then you go to the office and see your same co-workers and tackle the same emails day in and day out. Chances are all this routine might need a slight shake up! How to fix it:
    • Meet a buddy to run in the morning instead of running by yourself
    • Go to the office early and run when you get home
    • Skip lunch out and take a jog in the middle of the workday
  1. Vacation what? Your last vacation was just a few months ago. You flew to Florida to run in a “destination half marathon.” Because you were so focused on your race you didn’t get in as much sightseeing as you would have liked. Perhaps it’s time for a “real vacation.” How to fix: 
    • Take time off from running but don’t go anywhere. Give yourself a week to work on those projects you’ve been putting off. Or simply enjoy going to the movies or meeting up with friends.
    • Plan a long weekend and go someplace fun. And leave your running shoes at home!
    • If you can’t sit still while you’re away, plan a trip with friends that involves outdoor activities such as hiking or paddle boarding.

Once you’ve started to address your burnout we’re pretty certain your zest for running will return!


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