5 Ways to Shake Off Burnout

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Now that you know some of the signs you might be overtraining (read this blog here), it’s time to do something about it!

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I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 tips to help you shake off burnout and get back to happy running.

1: Leave the watch at home . . . 
. . . or at least cover it up. I run in long sleeve tops almost year round (the Summer ones are made of a cooling material), so generally my watch is covered. Just running however long or hard you feel like might take the “have to” and change it to “get to” when it comes to running.

2: Cross train more
I know a lot of runners just really love to run, and don’t want to do something else. This tip is not for you! Although it really is, just sayin’. If you’re a runner that actually enjoys cross training, increasing the cross training and decreasing your running for a while will keep you fit while hopefully holding off burnout.

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I don’t actually run here, but sometimes I start & end here. Its a new route I found last year that I’ve been returning to to shake things up again this Fall.

3: Find new locations
One good thing that came out of the Pandemic for me was finding new routes to run. Some runners love the familiarity of tried and true routes, but if you find yourself on the edge of burnout, a new route might be just the ticket to make your runs fun again.

4: Try a new running workout
There are actually almost infinite ways to run and train, and maybe it’s the perfect time to shake things up by trying something new!

5: Stop running!
Not forever. Just for a little while. While your running fitness will start to decline in just 3 days off running, it won’t decline much. A week off and you should make sure your runs are easy when you start running again. Even 2 weeks off isn’t really going to harm you — and it might do you a world of good.

If you stop running for more than 2 weeks, though, make sure that you’re cautious when you start to run again; try running easy for the same amount of time you were off running and then slowly increase the intensity — never forgetting that about 80% of your runs should always be easy.

Final Thoughts
We all get a little stale every once in a while, whether we want to admit it or not. It’s so easy to fall into the same old routine, and routines are great, but sometimes they need to be changed up. Of course, on the other hand, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

How do you shake up your running?

What makes you excited again about running?

21 thoughts on “5 Ways to Shake Off Burnout

  1. At the moment, I can’t see myself running again. But I am starting to think about how I can maintain my fitness (especially load-bearing exercise as that’s what kept my bones strong and unbroken in my fall), and getting frustrated that I can’t do anything still (palms, side of one hand, shoulder and knee are still bruised and sore so that seems to rule out anything except gentle walks!). These are good and useful points.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is nothing wrong with gentle walks. In fact, getting out there in nature is very healing!

      Speaking of healing — it’s hard work. Push yourself too hard and you’re likely to delay that healing.

      Did they doctor indicate when you can start with more exercise? Do you have any access to a pool? Swimming is great exercise when you need to stay off your feet!

      Sometimes an accident is just that, and sometimes it’s a not so gentle nudge from the universe that we need more self care. Hugs, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I didn’t ask the doctor as I wasn’t fully aware of the extent of my injuries when I was at the ER – the hand and its potential fracture was the focus. I realised I’d hurt my shoulder while there and my knee came out when I finally got my leggings off. I don’t think the universe was telling me to slow down because I had already slowed down and was feeling better for it, I think it was a wet day, slippy leaves, uneven paths and fatigue in the race …

        I don’t have a pool near me unfortunately and also don’t swim well – also my shoulder isn’t back to a full range yet. I have a recumbent bike and cross trainer in the house (but knee and shoulder not letting me use them) and yoga mat and free weights (knee, shoulder, bruised palms, horrible side of hand!) so am just going to stick to walking and relaxing and sleeping, which I’m doing a LOT of, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hugs, Liz. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. It’s normal to be scared to return to running after an injury — I know you’ll be back out there when the time is right. You take good care of your body & listen to it well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. All good suggestions except the last one.

    Runners I know that have stopped for more than a few days find it hard to get back to it. Some never do.

    I mentioned in your last post that I don’t think I’ve ever felt burnt out and for the reasons you’ve mentioned. I do not wear my watch. I do not run the same route more than once a week and I used to play tennis for variety now I hike.

    One I would add is call a friend. It’s much more fun when you do your runs with someone else even it means compromising time place or pace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not everyone has trouble getting back to running after a break at all. There are plenty of bloggers in this group that do take regular breaks (not just talking about myself) who have been running for years.

      Continuing to run when you truly feel burned out can have much worse consequences than stopping. It’s also not the end of the world if someone does decide that they need to stop running — as you point out, there are many other types of fitness. The important thing is to stay active!

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  3. And my point is that you can usually prevent burn out. Of course not everyone.
    And yes not everyone has trouble restarting. I was not talking about bloggers. I was talking about many of my friends who used to run.

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  4. A forced sabbatical (actually two for me LOL) reinforced how much I love running. But those time-offs were a great opportunity to do other things (walking and biking), which have been key staples in my fitness life now. Some runners are stubborn and won’t try other forms of fitness until they have to, which is unfortunate. Having the running taken from me made me appreciate it that much more, and I really am aware of how much is too much (for me, that is) so I can keep on running.

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    1. I agree — I think it’s unfortunate for the runners who don’t have any other fitness outlets, because when running is taken away they are just so unhappy.

      A forced sabbatical is a very different thing, but you came back from both so strong, Kim.

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  5. I have felt burnt out due to over training in the past. Sometimes just taking a few days off all exercise (which is hard!) or doing another activity for a few days can take care of it. I also have re-evaluated my schedule from time to time to address over training and make sure I keep a balance that works for me

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  6. I agree with all of these tips and have used them all when I’ve started to feel “meh” about running. While stepping away from running for a week or more is probably the hardest to do, I have found that doing so and shifting my focus to other activities has been refreshing and sometimes just what I needed.

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  7. I’ve never been burned out from running, but I think it’s like what Kim said- the injuries i had make me grateful for every single run I’m able to do. Maybe if I never got injured, I would get burned out.
    All of these suggestions are good- different things work for different people. I say getting off the roads and onto trails would be beneficial for most!

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    1. We have a short trail season here! Even the fall is iffy for me — all those wet leaves can be really slippery. But not as bad to hike in. 🙂

      Others are more comfortable running trails even as snow comes down, but not me.

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