Marathon training burnout is that point where you are really sick and tired of training and running and you don’t want to do it at all. Whenever you think about going for a run you wish you had an excuse not to. There are a number of reasons that can contribute to marathon training burnout and we will look at them in the paragraphs below and I will also advise you on how you can avoid getting yourself in this position.
Identifying the Causes
1. Over Training:
By far the most common cause of burnout is excessive training and excessive racing. Rest periods during your training are just as important as your training sessions. Your body needs time to recover and recuperate. Continuously pushing it can lead to exhaustion and you losing your will and love for running.
Make sure you give yourself adequate time to rest during your training program. Most programs do provide a day or two at the most as rest days. Do use these days to rest and relax both mentally and physically.
You can check out other articles on marathon training programs from this site to help you pick a suitable training program
Another reason related to overtraining is going beyond the program guidelines. If your program requires you to run 9miles and you decide to increase to 11 then you are setting yourself up for a burnout. Every time you run extra miles than what the program recommends you are likely putting yourself on the path of burnout.
I was actually surprised when I came across a fellow runner and he told him he had not run in a week. I thought maybe he had suffered an injury or there was some compelling reason for him to stop. Instead, he told me that it was all part of his trainer’s strategy. It is something I intend on starting doing as well.
In addition to overtraining, there is also over racing. There are people that race too frequently. One way to know if you are racing too frequently is if you notice a dive in your performance levels between one race and the next. Another indicator of excessive racing is your mental attitude towards upcoming races or the next race.
Normally you are meant to be excited, and looking forward to the next race. Once you are apprehensive, even gloomy about an upcoming race that also could be a sign of over racing. So do give yourself enough time between races to rest.
3. Training whilst injured or Sick:
This is also another cause of marathon burnout. There are some small and minor injuries that are subjected to repetitive and recurring stress such that they are not given sufficient time to heal. With time these injuries will eventually cause you to become skeptical and lose your eagerness for running. Every time you think about running you think about the sharp pain you always feel.
My advice to you is, give all injuries no matter how small or minor sufficient time to heal. You might feel like you are losing out a lot of training hours but you will lose a lot more if you continue training whilst injured or sick.
4. Starting Training Too Early:
If you are going to be training for a marathon and following a marathon training program it is important not to start way too early. Any training that is started more than 6months (24 weeks) out from the day of the race is training that is started way too early.
As the weeks and months go by you will feel drained, spent, and worn out. You become demotivated to run and you suffer burnout.
Remedy for Burnout (Prevention is Better than Cure)
Given the above facts on the causes, I’m sure you can clearly see that prevention is by far the best solution for burnouts. Stick to the distances on the training program, give yourself adequate time to rest, and do not train when you are injured. Also, follow the right marathon training diet.
If you want to know what you should be eating you can also find Marathon Training Diet articles from this site as well.
Now that you know what causes them, you can avoid those things and continue enjoying your running. There are many factors that will see you across the finish line with a smile on your face. If you go through the Marathon Training Material found on this site about marathon training burnout and more, no doubt you will be more than ready when race day eventually arrives. So find some time and check them out.