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Training Burnout

March 20, 2012

I hope your week is starting off well! Although I miss Colorado Springs, the weather here in Chicago is making it much easier to be back!

Sunday was my sister-in-law, Lauren’s, birthday!

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Lauren always says her birthday is in a gloomy month, but not this year! And isn’t Molly adorable? She was also enjoying the weather. And she loved celebrating her first Saint Patrick’s Day:

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Hahahahaha this photo made me die laughing when I saw it. I wanted to plaster it everywhere for everyone to see! How adorable is she? Love her.

Monday morning I decided that I wouldn’t do my first workout for Phase 2 of Best Body Bootcamp, but that I’d take a rest day. I realized I hadn’t taken a real rest day in almost 2 weeks and after my long and painful 12 mile run Sunday, I needed a day off. My morning classes were cancelled (okay, okay, I skipped one) so I decided to enjoy the weather and go on a long walk!

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Check out my new water resistant jacket my mom got me! I was also wearing my purple compression socks… lookin’ good.

I recently got the Instagram app on my phone because I was so curious! Here are my pictures from my walk:

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After my walk, I showered up, ate breakfast and headed to class. Can we please note what I’m NOT wearing. Any guesses?

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A COAT! I am not wearing a giant fluffy coat and I am not even wearing a jacket! It felt so weird to go to school without even a jacket, but that’s how nice it was! High of 78! Craziness. (We could also note the frizzy hair and squinty eyes, the not so great effects of sun and heat).

I even got an ICED green tea (unsweetened) at Starbucks!

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So I mentioned earlier in this post that I had a rough run on Sunday. That’s the nicest way to put it… I was really ready for this run. I’d had a lot of bad runs but I woke up Sunday with my legs feeling good and the anticipation that a week at almost 7,000ft altitude would make the run easier.

Unfortunately, several things went wrong. First of all, I didn’t realize how much the heat would affect me. It was about 63 when I set out and 72 when I finished. I had my camelbak, wore sunscreen and wore a hat, but I wasn’t hydrated enough, especially after flying and getting home at 10pm the night before. The heat was a lot and I felt pretty exhausted.

Also, at about mile 5, my knee started to really hurt. It gave me some trouble on my long run in Newberry last week, but it was much worse this week. It’s not the joint, but it’s the spot behind my knee on the inner side, where a muscle connects. Bending it makes it 10 times worse. I thought about turning around and going home, but at that point I was almost at my turnaround and I had no way to get home but my own two feet.

I pushed through and finished the run in just under 2 hours, for a pace of about 9:56 min/mile. Although not bad, that was my BEST effort, not just taking it easy. I was so frustrated and exhausted when I finished that I just wanted to cry. Unfortunately there was a huge crowd from a Shamrock run, so I had to walk back to my apartment tear-free.

My knee actually kept hurting all day Sunday, kept me awake at night, and still hurt Monday. It improved with my walk and stretching out a bit, but I really hope it doesn’t become a big issue. I texted my cousin, Allie, and she made me feel SO MUCH BETTER.

She reminded me  that bad long runs are totally normal and that at this point, I’ve gotten through the toughest part of my training. She also told me I should start tapering now. I’d planned on following my schedule and completing another 12 miler next week, but now I realize that’s just crazy. My body is burnt out and I need to start my taper now so I’m prepared for race day! She also said eating well and extra sleep is key. I’m all about extra sleep!

For the next week and a half I’m going to focus on Best Body Bootcamp, getting rest, and doing some shorter runs for my tapering, around 3-6 miles. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! Hopefully I’ll be pumped for the race, rather than dreading it!


Have you ever experienced training burnout? What did you do?


Ideas for my knee pain?

41 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2012 6:50 am

    Knee pain is the worst! Yours sounds very different from mine, but annoying I’m sure! Sending good thoughts your way.

    • March 20, 2012 8:57 am

      Yea, mine isn’t the joint like most people, so it’s not runner’s knee. I can’t figure it out!

  2. fitandfuninthird permalink
    March 20, 2012 7:26 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your knee pain! I’ve always had bad knees, and all I can recommend is rest, ice, and Advil. Take it easy the next few weeks and you’ll be great for your half! Also, are you in need of new running shoes? My knees always feel worse once my shoes get worn down.

    • March 20, 2012 8:58 am

      Thanks for the tips! And no, my shoes are fine. I’ve had two people at two different stores look at them and look at me running in them.

  3. March 20, 2012 7:34 am

    Oh I hate it when you have those kind of runs and knee pain is the worst. I would have at least a couple of days of complete rest to let your batteries recharge 🙂

  4. March 20, 2012 8:01 am

    Ugh, experiencing pain at the tail end of any training sucks. But hang in there – don’t push yourself too far. Tapering will allow your body to heal a bit and prepare you for the race. You’ll rock the half!

  5. March 20, 2012 8:35 am

    I think you are smart to start tapering. I am experiencing burn out in my training too, except my marathon is longer than 3 weeks away. Sorry for the knee pain. Rest and heal up!

    • March 20, 2012 8:59 am

      Maybe take a set back week now and then get back into training for a couple more weeks? That helped me with my 10 miler. Lol not quite a marathon!

  6. March 20, 2012 9:41 am

    Be careful with knee pain! I had knee surgery back in high school and knee pain/ healing bad knee injuries sucks. Don’t push yourself too hard (it looks like you’re already planning on cutting back on running), and just listen to your body until your half and you should be fine!

    I had serious burnout during/after training for the Chicago marathon. I was coming off back-to-back marathon training programs and racing and just wasn’t enjoying running anymore. I cut back on running for about one and a half months and ran 3 days a week + cross training instead of my usual 6 days per week. It definitely helped and now I’m in love with running as ever!

    • March 20, 2012 11:57 am

      I definitely think I built up mileage really quickly and I’m not loving it like I used to! I need to run for fun more!

  7. March 20, 2012 9:42 am

    you look so pretty in that photo of you without your coat! i love your curly hair. 🙂
    i’m sorry you had a rough run. i know how frustrating that can be, but it sounds like a rest day will definitely help! or maybe a couple rest days? it’s hard, but i think rest is one of the best things you can do for your body.

    • March 20, 2012 11:58 am

      Haha I definitely have a hard time resting, but I’ll try! And thank you! Of course I prefer people with straight hair… haha. Grass is always greener!

  8. March 20, 2012 9:47 am

    Tough runs are part of training. They suck but they make us appreciate the good runs all the more.

    I don’t know what your regular “easy” pace is but that’s what you should be doing your long runs at anyway. It seems counter-intuitive to run your long runs slower than race pace, but most people run their long runs too fast and that can exacerbate injury and burnout.

    I had some serious burnout between running the Milwaukee Marathon in October and the Las Vegas Marathon in December. The only thing that kept me motivated was running with friends. If I hadn’t had people to keep me company I don’t know that I would have made it!

    • March 20, 2012 11:59 am

      Haha your first sentence is practically what my cousin said! And I was running my long runs too fast, and then it got to the point where I couldn’t run them fast because I’ve been so burnt out! Learned my lesson…

  9. March 20, 2012 9:57 am

    I am going through some of the same knee a massage therapist..i would say treat yourself to a massage…make sure to stretch hamstrings and IT band well…if you would feel ok accepting a care package from me i would love to send one. I love reading about your journey! you can email me an address if you feel comf. doing so~ you can get through this! i love your curls..from one curly girl to another!

    • March 20, 2012 12:01 pm

      Haha I have a massage schedule (got a groupon) but the earliest they had was late April! And I’ll send you an e-mail, I’d love to hear any more thoughts. And power to the curly hair! haha

  10. March 20, 2012 11:15 am

    I totally understand knee pain… I’ve had surgery on both of my knees and have a lot of issues. Is it swollen? If so take ibuprofen, elevate and ice! Make sure your hamstrings are stretched.

    • March 20, 2012 12:03 pm

      not swollen, I think it’s more of a stretching issue. Haha I feel like I’m always stretching!

  11. March 20, 2012 12:25 pm

    After training for a while your body definitely needs a rest! Take a few days or even a week off and let everything re-build and recoup! Hope your knee starts feeling better… I had horrible knee problems over the summer but a few days off helped a bunch!

    • March 20, 2012 12:28 pm

      Thanks for the advice! I’m definitely taking at least 2 days off running, and I’ll see how it feels later this week!

  12. Karen permalink
    March 20, 2012 3:38 pm

    Those instagram photos are gorgeous – looks like skipping class and taking some time for yourself was exactly what you needed to do!

    Bad runs are so frustrating, but are sometimes a way of our bodies reminding us to slow down. Hope your knee is feeling better soon.
    And good luck with your run next week – can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  13. March 20, 2012 4:44 pm

    Yikes, knee pain does not make for fun running! I experienced a lot of knee pain when I ran my first half marathon, but it was always on the outside of my knee. I hope yours heals up soon!

    And I LOVE instagram! I think it’s the only way I can get pictures I take on my phone to look decent 🙂

  14. Anonymous permalink
    March 20, 2012 4:50 pm

    So happy my advice helped! The race will be so fun! Yay!

  15. March 20, 2012 6:00 pm

    I’ve had PLENTY of knee pains…the worst. ICE ICE AND MORE ICE! I’m sure it will get before you know it though. Don’t sweat the long run, they can’t all be great. It’s definitely frustrating but at least you know that it had to do with not hydrating enough, it’s not like you have no idea why it didn’t go so well. Keep your head up & keep going! You got this 🙂

  16. Katie permalink
    March 20, 2012 6:55 pm

    I had similar knee pain on the inside on my knee toward the end of my half marathon training. The two weekss before the race I eased up on the mileage and focused on stretching it every day. Not sure if you do yoga, but there are good poses and that can help stretch out that part of your leg. Triangle was my favorite, but there are others. I had no knee pain on race day. Good luck!

    • March 21, 2012 8:32 am

      glad to hear someone else actual knows what I’m talking about! Thanks for the stretching tips!

  17. Anna Lynn permalink
    March 20, 2012 7:31 pm

    Oh, did I have a body burn out when I was training for my half marathon! There were definitely reasons for that though. My training period wasn’t long enough for one thing! I only had about 5-6 weeks to prepare so my long runs increased really quickly. I also wasn’t eating enough and my body felt it. I was so sluggish and tired all the time. Once I started eating a more appropriate diet and especially when I began tapering, I started feeling better! I also found out today I went from 19% body fat to 14.2% and 126 lbs to 116 lbs in a matter of six weeks while training so I’m sure that my body was yelling at me for that one….Good luck and enjoy your tapering weeks!

  18. March 20, 2012 9:43 pm

    Have you tried foam rolling? Not sure if that would help your particular knee pain, but when I experienced knee pain from running, it did help me. I ran two half marathons in October and got a bit burned out after that… Now that I have taken several months off I feel like I am ready to run again because I actually MISS it!

    • March 21, 2012 8:32 am

      I used to foam roll a lot for my IT band, but I should definitely do it on my hamstrings and calves, that would probably help! Thanks for the idea!

  19. March 20, 2012 10:27 pm

    Adorable pup and such pretty pictures! I love life in the spring 🙂 I haven’t had knee problems, but when I get sore/injured there’s a lot of ice and rest involved. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  20. March 20, 2012 10:54 pm

    I had hip and knee surgery 9 years ago and sometimes where I over train (just over do it with weight training and cardio) I soo feel it in my knees and then my hips. It takes me about 2 weeks to recover, so I have found that mixing yoga in 2-3 times has minimized that burn out 🙂 AND PAIN >.<

  21. March 24, 2012 12:07 pm

    Knee pain from running is the worst…I’ve experienced it too from overuse, and usually the PT tells me to use the good ol’ RICE trick (rest, ice, compression–if necessary–and elevation). and cross training always helps if you get the itch to exercise when you can’t run! hope youre feeling better soon!

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