Just when you feel like you’ve finally gotten into a solid training groove, you all of a sudden lose every ounce of motivation, succumb to exhaustion, and want to throw your workout gear out the window.
First of all, you should be familiar with the signs of exercise burnout:
- Instead of energy, you feel exhausted, weak and fatigued
- You suffer from join or muscular pain and/or persistent muscle soreness
- You have difficulties sleeping
- You are yawning during exercising
Here are some tips to stay happy, healthy and motivated in your training with hopes of preventing a burnout:
- Take a less-is-more approach. Burnout happens when you expect too much too soon. You can’t force your body to become stronger or slimmer faster than it physiologically can. Start with small reps, low weights and short reps. It’s better to do too little in the beginning than too much.
- Set mini goals. Not meeting goals is one of the major reasons people stop exercises. Focus on the process – like time spent exercising – rather than the long term goals of say, running a 23 minute 5K.
- Switch Up Your Workouts. You can work out seven days a week, but they shouldn’t all be high intensity workouts or strength training. Be sure to incorporate zone 3 workouts or gentle workouts, like yoga, easy swimming, or even just walking.
- Find a Change of Scenery. Instead of spending every day of the week at the gym, in the pool or on the same bike path – spice things up and do something different – go for a hike or play basketball. Your mind will thank you for the change in routine.
- Find Your Balance. Take time for yourself – skip a workout and go out with friends. Don’t overdo it, but take some time out from your workout and have some fun. Getting back to your workout again after a release will help you stay motivated.
- Find a Deeper Connection with Exercise. Exercise is good for your health, but you need to understand the primary reason why you are training – are you working towards a triathlon; want to qualify for the Boston Marathon; whatever it is it will help motivate you to keep going when your body feels like quitting.
- Monitor Your Stress. Exercise can be a stress reducer, but it can also be physically stressful on your body. If you are already stressed, you may want to stick with lower-intensity workouts and add an extra recovery day. If you and your body are stressed, your immune system decreases and you’re more susceptible to sickness and infections.
- Freshen Up Your Soundtrack. A new soundtrack will bring the most boring workouts back to life.
- Partner Up. Working out with a partner will encourage accountability, provide good conversation, motivate you and keep you on track.
The good news is that it is possible to avoid burnout. Once you’ve found your training groove, use these tips to keep things fresh, interesting, and challenging. If you need help staying motivated, or want to get out of a training rut, contact me today.
Train Right, Tri Right!