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I have a confession. I think I am suffering from a case of long distance runner’s burnout. I have been on a training plan since July/August. That’s a LONG time to have a schedule dictate when and how much you run, in my opinion. Lately I have dreaded running, especially anything longer than three miles. In January, I was so pumped up and ready to run my first marathon, but when it was over I did not experience the “post marathon blues” everyone seems to talk about. At the time I wasn’t really sure why this was…but now I am pretty certain it was because my body has been SCREAMING for a break, in more ways than one.
1.) Let’s face it, I am not at full health. Between my hip and IT band, I could use a break from distance running.
2.) I understand it’s ok to not ALWAYS want to go on your run, but to not EVER want to go on your run, well I think that’s a problem!
3.) There is a lot of stress/craziness in my life at this moment, and when I run I can’t seem to focus, because all I think about is my stress and all the things I need to do/should be doing instead.
I know deep down I enjoy the half marathon distance, but I also really want to improve my speed. I have decided to focus on some 5k’s, then take about a month off of running probably in May or June to totally heal and get my desire to run back again. I hope to resume half training in August and run halfs again in the fall.
I have only been on this “plan” for a week and already I feel SO much better! Here are the things I have been doing/realizing and actually enjoying for a change, because I don’t feel the PRESSURE to have to run 4-5 times a week.
1.) Cross training has become enjoyable. During marathon training, I did not cross train like I should have, because every time I worked out I felt like I had to run, mile on the miles, no time for anything else. I now realize this was a big mistake. I realize cross training probably would have made me stronger and less prone to injury. Good job Heather. I am now enjoying doing the elliptical and going for walks with my family and my dogs. You know, while I can, before the brutal southern summer weather hits and I am forced indoors until September. (see northern peeps, we are forced inside due to weather, too!) I have also done a couple of workout videos that have made me realize I am NOT as in shape as I thought I was!
2.) I am liking the challenge of strength training. It’s no secret I have avoided strength training in the past on purpose. I have always felt like it was a waste of time and I never saw any results.(my fault, I never stuck with it long enough to see any!) Well, let’s be honest…running WITHOUT strength training hasn’t worked out so good for me, so why not try a different approach? I really have enjoyed being sore, and feeling like I worked hard.
3.)Taking care of my body has become very important to me. Well, it has always been important, but it seems that RUNNING was the most important, even if that made me neglect the rest of my body. Does that even make sense? In my head it does. maybe. I have been taking the time to stretch everyday, and do stabilizing exercises for my legs and hips. I want to be strong and healthy all over, not just “in running shape.”
I will always love running and want to run, and especially race, but I don’t want to neglect the rest of health or fitness anymore. I want my WHOLE body to be in shape and at it’s best, not just my legs. the best part is…yesterday I WANTED to go on a short run, because I didn’t HAVE to go run. I think that is the way it’s supposed to be, at least most of the time. I need to get that desire back for long runs, and I think my plan will do the trick! Help keep me accountable as I venture into this new territory. It’s scary to me but exciting!!
QOTD: Have you ever been burnt out from running? Been on a training plan too long? How did you combat this problem?