I’ve gone through periods where training for a race exhausted me mentally and physically but I don’t know that I’ve ever hit complete training burnout. The point where I don’t want to ever see my training spreadsheet ever again. The point where I’m not even looking forward to the endorphin rush that I know is waiting for me at the end of a long run or brick or ride. The point where I play mind games and think, maybe I could just do the event without completing the training. I think I might be there now.
I’ve been tired of training before. I’ve been bored and wishing I could do something else. I’ve even had weeks where I needed to change things up just for the break in routine. But I’ve always come back to the joy in checking off a workout, pushing towards a goal. This time is different. I’ve seen this burnout on the horizon for about two weeks. I am certain the intensity of this schedule is what made me sick. I only worked out once last week and while I needed that week of rest to recuperate, at some point I should have felt the urge to run or ride… but I didn’t. I think I’ve officially hit the race that is the end. I can’t imagine going through this type of program again for any goal. I’ve been pushing higher and farther since I started running in 2009 and it’s time to stop.
I’m proud of my accomplishments and I’ll be proud on August 4 when I cross the finish of this Olympic Triathlon. And then I think I’m done with the endurance training. I’ll toss in a few half marathons that look fun or involve my friends. But this constant pushing to a larger, longer, faster goal… it’s time to stop. It’s just not fun anymore.
I have a month until race day. That’s three hard weeks of training, one week of tapering and then one day of pushing hard. I have no doubts that I’ll get through it. The challenge is to find some way to make it interesting again. To make it something I’m looking forward to each morning. I’m going to think about this on my ride today and see if I can come up with something to get me past the burnout.