How to avoid burnout

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

One of the many challenges of participating in endurance sport is the chance of burnout. As endurance athletes we push ourselves to be the best we can be and sometimes we push ourselves too far. Understanding what can cause burnout and how to avoid it are important to understand.

Burnout is defined as a state of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion caused by overwork or overstress. Athletes most prone to burnout are those who work too hard, too long, too intensely and are extremely dedicated to the sport.

So how do we try to avoid burnout? With balance and realistic goals. Below are a few tactics to avoid burnout and keep yourself in check.

- First if you feel you are getting burnt out you should contact your coach to let them know how you are feeling.

- Just like your training has scheduled breaks such as recovery days, recovery weeks and rest weeks we need to be sure to take time in our day for a break as well.

- Change your training environment, such as a different pool, a new virtual route on your trainer or hit the trail for a recovery run.

- Focus on micro goals that lead into the macro goal.

- Give yourself an honest check in with your life balance. Are you making time for family and friends? Are you getting proper rest?

As a coach I often find that if an athlete is going to experience signs of burnout that they will feel it about ¾ through their race season or near the peak training for an “A” event. Understanding the warning signs and how to avoid/overcome burnout is crucial to our success.