I’m just sick of doing this over and over again. What do you do when this is what comes out of your mouth or echoes in your head before every run? Burnout is caused by repeating the same thing over and over, overworking your body at every training session, and stress.

Variety is important in every area of life you want to maintain a certain level of excitement about whatever it is you’re doing. If you run the same route, the same pace, the same time, the same distance, the same… you get the idea, eventually you just want to quite. It’s not fun anymore. Even if you do different workouts during the week, if you keep the same pattern it can lead to burnout. You have to mix it up more than that. Having a secondary sport is a great way to break things up. Try to pick something that is different from running. Running is a solitary sport for the most part, so picking something that is more social is going to keep you engaged in your training more. You can add an aerobics class or a team sport.

Overworking yourself every time you go out for a run kills motivation to run. You should absolutely work hard on your hard days, but you should have easy days too, where you leave the Garmin at home and connect with the reasons you started running in the first place. We all hear about how overtraining can cause injuries because your body is constantly taxed and doesn’t have the time to recover. But there is a mental side of it too, burnout. You become resentful of your running. It’s like any hobby, if you make it more of a job than something you do to relax and have fun, you’re going to hate it. It loses its value.

Stress in other areas of your life suck the life and desire out of other things you enjoy. If stress at work, with family, or with friends is becoming overwhelming taking a break from running for a few days or a week is not a bad thing. This may seem counter intuitive, but you’ll be glad you did and come back to it with new vigor. Just don’t take some much time off that you start losing the benefits you have gained through running. Make sure you have a good support system that can take on some of the things that are weighing you down. Maintaining your love of running includes taking care of other areas of your life.

Depression isn’t the same thing as burnout, but it’s something to look for if you are losing the love of things you enjoy. Check in with yourself and make sure you haven’t lost enjoyment in all the things you enjoy and that you’re not withdrawing from those that you love.

Keep your fire for running burning and don’t let it burn out.

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