Monday, January 21

Burned out?

I'm feeling just a little burned out on running right now. I'm not sure if it's just the weather or what.

Any advice?


Blogger Jim Evans said...

Just recently R expressed this problem.
I have been a runner for over 31 years now.
I would be lying if I said I had never suffered from lack of motivation.

If you include “runner” when defining yourself, then skipping runs is a personal failure that adds to your depression. Depression has the effect of limiting us from reaching our goals. Thus a cycle develops. Depression creeps in. We lower our expectations and run less. Fewer endorphins are released. We fall further behind in the pursuit of our goals and the result is more depression. It is a dangerous downward cycle.

My advice is to set-up a realistic running schedule with specific race goals then stick to it and “make no excuses”. Your initial goals should be less than you have performed in the past and considered recovery goals. This should break the cycle.

If this advice does not work, you are either not defined by “runner” or you may be suffering from clinical depression and need to seek medical consultation. The latter explanation is serious but treatable.

This is a pharmaceutical funded site but has some good information:

January 21, 2008 10:01 AM  
Blogger MS said...

I've read somewhere that a lack of interest in running/exercise is one of the symptoms of overtraining. If you've been pouring on the miles lately, it's a possiblity.

I have the opposite problem. I went for a run when it was icy Thursday morning and had a slip and near-fall on a footbridge at the Nature Center. I didn't feel anything unusual at the time, but think I tweaked something in my hip, because I haven't been able to run w/o pain since.

I'd love to be back out on the roads/trails, but I can't. I'm going in to a sports physician on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll at least have some answers.

January 21, 2008 5:07 PM  
Blogger KWK said...

That's a tough one. I agree with Jim about the "runner" identity, and how even "taking a break" from running feels like I'm somehow failing myself. It can be hard to differentiate between pushing yourself to run on the occasions when you don't feel like it, and forcing yourself to do something that you really don't enjoy anymore.

I would say that if running is something you love to do, then it should also be fun--at least some of time. Just yesterday I did a 20 mile run that turned downright miserable after about mile four. But enough of my other runs of late have been mentally, emotionally, and spiritually uplifting, so I figure this was just an anomaly (doing 160 laps on an indoor track probably had a lot to do with it).
So I know I'll be running again later this week, but your feelings and motivations may be different. At this point, I'd suggest just doing whatever you are mentally prepared for. Try running just a few miles, and as soon as you get bored turn around and head home. Or, try something else entirely for a while: basketball, racquetball, swimming, biking, whatever, as long as you're still doing something. Staying active will probably do a lot to stave off the "I'm getting fat and lazy" feelings that may crop up during extended periods of not-running.
And at some point you may eventually gravitate back to running. It could be a week, a month, or a year. Or never.

As good as it feels to wear the marathon shirts out in public and to tell people "I'm a runner", ultimately I do it for myself, not for them. And if I really, truly, deep down didn't want to do it anymore, I'd stop.

January 21, 2008 5:13 PM  
Blogger rslight said...

Forgive a potentially dumb comment here, but the cold winter weather might be a big factor if you have a lack of motivation.

Today I bundled up and ran 11 miles in Sequiota Park. It was maybe 25 degrees. It was just rslight and the geese out there.
I had intended to go 12 miles, but the sky was so dreary that I just called it quits near the end.

Actually, I really didn't want to run at all today.
However, my obsession to do well at the Little Rock Marathon motivated me to get out there. And I WILL do well in Little Rock. Spectators in that city are going to get to see a show on March 2.

Having a strong goal and vision really help.
I bet bl will feel awesome when we get some nice pretty days again.

January 21, 2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger rslight said...

Oh, and another thing.
How could you possibly lack motivation when it's time to BEAT JIM IN 08?
I mean, it is 08, isn't it?

January 21, 2008 7:27 PM  
Blogger bl said...

So, I got the heater in my apartment fixed today.

I thought it was too complex for me. In reality, it needed new batteries.

I think my feeling of being burned out had a few important factors - overtraining - 18 miles in one day when I ran 11 miles the week before had something to do with it.

And the speed with which I ran those 18 miles.

And the weather. Blah.

and maybe a little of no-job related stress.

And a lack of goals.

And the frustration of feeling like I'm jogging not running everytime I go out the door.

Hopefully by the end of the month though I'll have a better sense of how things are going with the old career and life and all that.

Happy trails!

January 21, 2008 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you know, runners need to rest. The rest is necessary for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. A rest can be one day or two weeks or....whatever you need. It doesn't mean you're not a runner or that you are lazy or necessarily depressed. Listen to your body and your soul. You'll do the right thing for yourself...

January 23, 2008 10:08 PM  

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