You Signed Up For WHAT?!

Tri Talk Tuesday: Training Burnout? You Can Learn To Love it Again

Today’s Tri Talk Tuesday theme is universal: TRAINING BURNOUT. I’m co-hosting with Courtney from The TriGirl Chronicles today, and we love this topic because it’s wider-reaching than merely triathlon blogs so let’s just call it “FITNESS TALK TUESDAY” rather than “Tri Talk Tuesday” today! Whether it’s Ironman training burnout, marathon training burnout, weightlifting training burnout, Couch to 5K training burnout – whatever your burnout, link up at the bottom of the post!

As for my post, I’m inspired by my previous burnouts when marathon training, half marathon training, and at times – triathlon training. I say “at times” since I’ve typically been gung-ho with the tri training, but I do have my burnout weeks. But this theme is universal, right?

Training Burnout Learn to Love it Again #running #triathlon #fitness #exercise #fitspiration #inspiration #motivation

PS: Hover over this image, Pin it to Pinterest, and let’s spread the linkup!

We don’t need to talk about the burnout itself here, how I start to feel sluggish in the morning, lose my energy for late-night bike trainer workouts, or cut my workouts in half on busy days because I “just don’t have it in me”.

We’ll just skip right on by that business.

Because let’s face it: I’m a glass half-full person. I don’t want to focus on the negative energy. I’m all about the positive. RIGHT? Right!

Here are my ways to LOVE fitness again when you’re experiencing Training Burnout:

Remember Why You Signed Up For THAT

This is the most important way to embrace the love of training again, in my experience. Go back to that moment, that time when you pushed the “Register Now” button. What made you do it?

Was it to reach a personal goal, like wanting to do your first triathlon? Was it to reach a personal PR and best your time for that half marathon? Was it because friends pressured you into signing up for a race? That’s a valid reason too!

Whatever the reason, remember it. It was YOUR reason, nobody else’s. Write it down on a piece of paper. Put it in your pocket and take it out when you are feeling burned out. That reason still exists – it hasn’t disappeared down the drain of burnout.

YOU are still worth it. YOU are still worth reaching that goal.

You are worth it

Think of the Transformation

This is one that always gets me revved up for the training again. Truly. At the beginning of a 16-week training plan, for example, I am one person: I look one way, I feel one way, I am one way. Then at the end of it: I AM DIFFERENT.

I am different physically, mentally, and athletically. I change on the outside and I change on the inside.


Embrace that transformation, get excited about it. You cannot change if you don’t put in the training.

You WANT that change, don’t you?

You want to be a different and changed version of yourself in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 16 weeks, or in 1 year, right?

Visualize the Finish Line

Visualization? Is that some kind of spiritual meditation type suggestion? Because I don’t do that, you’re thinking.


Okay, fine – yes, if that’s your thing, get spiritual. Get meditative. I’m not putting that down at all – do what you do. I have tried it, it has benefits. But that’s not exactly what I mean.

This is what I suggest, and it’s very simple:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Visualize the finish line.
  3. Take note your feelings.

Does it make you feel excited? Anxious? Nervous? Confident? Embrace that feeling, whatever it is, and channel that on a morning when you wake up and just don’t have it in you to get on those training shoes. You’ll be lying there in bed, about to press the snooze button, and you’ll think of that finish line.

That triathlon isn't going to train for itself

Fess Up to a Friend

I find it helps to express my feelings of burnout to a friend. Or sometimes even to a random stranger. If I’m feeling overwhelmed with life, training, and all that is piling up, I let it out.

I’m a sharer (ahem, I have a blog, of course i’m a sharer…) and sharing is a way to relieve the pressure that is building up so intensely that it might cause an explosive burst at the least opportune moment.

I want to avoid a Training Burnout Meltdown.

So tell someone. Or type up a post to a supportive online community. Or tell a random buddy at a group workout. Chances are, they’ve been there too.

Tip: don’t share this burnout as your Facebook status. Sure, we’re all human and I think we need to be real on Facebook. But this is not the time. You will get all the non-triathletes and non-runners saying “great, go eat some chocolate cake and put your feet up, you don’t need to do that long run! I always thought you were crazy anyhow!”. And that’s not going to help. General Facebook status updates are not going to be a helpful route for avoiding derailing your ultimate goals.

Lighten Up

Remember: it’s just a race.

Wait, I’m not sure you heard me, so repeat after me: it’s just a race.

Yes, I know – I love the race too and have goals that I want to achieve. That’s our thing, we sign up for THAT and we’re going for a goal for our own personal reasons. But if you are stressing yourself out to the point where you don’t even like, let alone love, what you are doing, then it’s time to take a step back.

But take that step, take a deep breath, and smile.

And then get back onto that bike, put back on those running shoes, and embrace the journey.

You have work to do.

When was the last time you experienced training burnout? What were you training for? Did you get out of the slump?

Ah, Tri Talk Tuesday. It will never be the same since one of our co-hosts has decided to cut ties with blogging and focus on other adventures. We’ll miss you, Miranda!  So for this week, it’s just me & Courtney from The TriGirl Chronicles co-hosting, but we have a lot of fun things planned so stay tuned!

Link up your running, fitness, training, and/or triathlon blog right here for a Burnout Fest! Be sure to visit and comment on other blogs in the linkup. And go say congrats to Courtney, who just attended a triathlon coaching clinic this past weekend!


Tri Talk Tuesday


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Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

Cynthia Steele is a runner, triathlete, & working mom of 3 little kids. She has lost 50 pounds through fitness and healthy eating and writes about fitting in all this crazy stuff while juggling work and kids.
Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

Latest posts by Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! (see all)

19 Thoughts on “Tri Talk Tuesday: Training Burnout? You Can Learn To Love it Again

  1. Awwwwwww – I miss you girls already! Great post.

  2. Great post! I was just dealing with this last week and I was not feeling motivated for either of my midweek runs. But I kept reminding myself about how good I generally feel after a run and that the hardest part is getting out the door. It’s usually much easier after that first step. They weren’t the best runs ever but I made it out there :)
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly reviewMy Profile

  3. Fess up to a friend, how about fess up to the entire internet! Some seriously solid advice in here!
    Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles recently posted…Tri Talk Tuesday – Burn OutMy Profile

  4. I deal with burnout all the time! For me, I think its more the lack of focus – if working out isn’t a top priory, then I don’t do it.
    Chelle @ Blogs Like a Girl recently posted…Book Review: A Fall of MarigoldsMy Profile

  5. Yup, the best thing you can do when you hit burnout is to a) swtich up your routine or b)take a break :)

  6. Great post, Cynthia, with some great things to keep in mind…I like that you ask us to remember why we pressed the “register now” button; something I will definitely think about! :) Thanks so much!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Marathon Training Week 1My Profile

  7. It is just a race and I think it is important to keep that in perspective. We do this bc we enjoy it and not bc we think we are going to be chosen for the US Olympic team. I think we all go through times of waning excitement and often it is the body’s way of telling us we may need a little break. Good post!
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run-Hydration & FuelingMy Profile

  8. Great advice!!! I like the visualization one especially. :)
    Megan @ outlawontherun recently posted…Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon {Rambling Thoughts}My Profile

  9. These are all such good reminders no matter what you’re training for. I think it’s so important to just go back to the beginning and remember why you signed up for the race in the first place. It’s so easy to lose sight of that when you see it as just one more thing to get done, but running and training with a purpose is so important!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Birthday Fun!My Profile

  10. Love the fess up to a friend advice. But I better make sure it’s the correct friend. Some might say “yeah you are doing too much, let’s go out and party.” Ok well not at my age but you get the idea! I usually fess up to the friends who I know will encourage me to keep on truckin’!!!

  11. This is a great post. I always tell myself it’s JUST A RACE all of the time. I have to put things like this in perspective. I have a happy, healthy family. I’m not getting paid to win races like Shalane Flanagan. My children are home and healthy and not sick and dying in a hospital like what i see on a daily basis when I go to work. It’s JUST.A.RACE. Life will go on if it’s not the best in the world!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…MCM Training Week 7–Vacation MilesMy Profile

  12. I needed this about a month ago! Finding a friend to confide in and help you get back on track works wonders! Thanks for the other tips!

  13. Great post. I definitely felt this burnout after NYC Marathon in November. I took months off from running and worked out whenever I felt like it. I’m finally getting back into the swing of things now that I Want to run a fall marathon but I really just needed a mental and physical break. Sometimes I felt like I HAD to be training for something because I’d see other bloggers talking about it, but I had to come back when it was right for me and when I’d feel ready again. Hopefully I can run this half in november!!
    Patty @ Reach Your Peak recently posted…13 Quick & Easy Dinner RecipesMy Profile

  14. Such good tips, especially the one about lightening up. It’s not like I’m planning on winning any races, so allowing myself to not stress so much is really helpful. I find visualizing the race with my friends and family there seems to help too.
    Ursula recently posted…My Favourite Photo Editing ProgramsMy Profile

  15. Pingback: Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day - Reach Your Peak

  16. Great timing! I am starting to feel the beginning of burnout. I am not sure if it is running in this extreme heat or the mental toll of the longer runs! Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle Hartgraves recently posted…How the Glycemic Index Helps RunnersMy Profile

  17. great post, C! and so applicable to so many things!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Leesburg 20k Race RecapMy Profile

  18. Pingback: Weekly Burn: News You Can Use - Life by DailyBurn

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