Running burnout is rooted in running too much, running too fast, running when injured, running when sick, ignoring mental fatigue—and not stopping long enough period of time between workouts to recover fully beforerunning again.
When we cross over this line between training hard and dysfunctionally overreaching, we set ourselves up for running burnout.
Do you feel like you’re experiencing running burnout? Read on to learn the signs to watch out for and the steps that you may take to recover from running burnout.
Table of Contents
- What are the signs of running burnout to watch out for?
- How do you stop or recover from running burnout?
What are the signs of running burnout to watch out for?
If you’re an avid runner but have a suspicion that you’re experiencing burnout, here are some classic signs to watch out for:
Lack of motivation to run
You are no longer excited to run and you keep putting it off. You are also indecisive about whether you want to run or not. Suddenly, running becomes hard for you, and what used to be a fun activity turns into a chore.
Sometimes we don't have much motivation to run when the weather is too cold, too humid, too wet, or when we’re simply busy. But when you start losing motivation to run without reason, it could be a symptom of running burnout.
Always feeling exhausted
You always feel exhausted and tired even when you are not running yet. Experiencing pain and sore muscles even after having a lot of rest may be a sign that you’re experiencing running burnout, as well.
You notice that it takes more effort to complete your running routine and you are running slower than usual. Your lack of energy, sore body, and dwindling enthusiasm slow down your running performance. You find yourself hating your runs and you question yourself why you're even going for a run in the first place.
One of the signs of running burnout is that you may experience sleep problems. You may have difficulty falling asleep or experience insomnia.
You may also experience waking up at odd times during the night, and not being able to go back to sleep easily. You may also find it hard to wake up on time.
Feeling irritable and experiencing negative emotions like anger, depression, helplessness, and being frustrated is another sign of having running burnout.
Changes in appetite
Runners who experience burnout may notice a change in their appetite. Some may lose their appetite while others may tend to overeat.
If you’re experiencing some or even all of these signs, it may mean that you’re starting to burn out from running and need to take a break. It also means that you need to take some steps to prevent your burnout from getting worse while slowly recovering.
How do you stop or recover from running burnout?
Here are some ways on how to overcome running burnout:
Take time to rest
It’s not all the time that we are in good shape and in the best condition to run constantly. If you think and feel that you need a break to relax and recharge, go ahead!
After all, having ample rest and recovery is an essential part of a healthy and active lifestyle. Our body definitely needs rest.
Take a break from your running routine and have a rest day to let yourself fully recover. Treat yourself to a massage if you want to. Enjoy some at-home relaxation that you’ve been wanting to do and let your body heal from the stress and hard work.
Do not overtrain
Take it slowly and make sure to have fun. Lower your expectations and just enjoy little progress one at a time. Too much running can lead toinjury and burnout. Be patient and enjoy your training without putting pressure on yourself to increase your performance every day.
Try someother types of workouts that can enhance other parts of your body. This helps you to discover new interests!
You can do yoga, swimming, strength training, or any outdoor sports you like to try. Once you get your mojo back for running, you can now alternate your workout routine to avoid running burnout again.
Have training partners
Going for a run with a buddy may help motivate you and make your runs more enjoyable. You can even join a running club to find folks that are just as into running as you!
Try different routes and change up your routine
Another way to deal with running burnout is to change up your routine. If you've been running the same route at the same speed every day, try mixing it up!
Trying out a different route that’ll provide a new set of views to enjoy will give you a much-needed boost and motivation.
You can also try running at a different time of day or running a different distance. Changing up your routine can help keep things interesting and help prevent burnout from developing.
Always have a recovery time
Lastly, ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to recover after running. This includes running more difficult paces gradually, running over different terrain, and running longer distances.
Pushing yourself every day beyond your limits can lead to injuries - which are no fun!
If you're struggling with running burnout, then take some adequate recovery time. You can also change up your routine for a while before pushing yourself too hard again. You'll be glad that you did in the long run!
How long should you rest when experiencing running burnout?
If you’re experiencing running burnout, the road to recovering from it may mean taking a few weeks or even months off from running - it depends entirely on each individual. Experiencing running burnout can be especially difficult if you are passionate about the sport.
However, it is important to listen to your body and not continue running - doing so will only aggravate the problem.
Once you have recovered, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase your running mileage and intensity to prevent running burnout from happening again.
It’s important to be patient until your running-related motivation comes back naturally. Avoid any kind of pressure at this stage, as it could result in another running burnout period.
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- Reflective skull cap. Stay safe and focused when you run at night when you wear GearTop’s Reflective Running Beanie! Increase your low-light visibility especially from oncoming cars with this skull cap’s reflective elements. And, keep distracting sweat and hair away from your face as you work out.
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Affordable yet built with quality in mind, stay well-equipped against the onslaught of the elements no matter the season!
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Running burnout is not the end of the world, and it's something that many people go through at some point or another. Even professional runners who do this for a living sometimes need a break running just like we normal people do.
So if you're feeling burnt out, take a step back, relax, and then get back into running gradually. You'll be back to your old self before you know it!