How to Avoid Burnout During Marathon Training

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Last Updated on November 4, 2022 by admin

Running over time can become addictive, and with that comes the danger of over-training and burnout. Over-training is when you training goes beyond that which your body is prepared for. Burnout is over-training with no motivation at all. It is definitely and thing and has both physical and mental manifestation. It can affect anyone training for a marathon.

Burnout can have an adverse effect on your exercise regime and daily life. You may experience trouble completing your usual workouts, poor motivation to handle daily tasks, anxiety about the next race/workout, depression, constant pains and aches, being stuck on a plateau, etc. That’s why the kind of attitude and workouts that you will adopt after signing up for a marathon training matters a lot.

Tips To Avoid Burnout During Marathon Training

If you are like most runners, winning a marathon is the definitive goal worth putting in all the miles for. Since you will be pushing your body to the limit, you must take good care of your health.

Marathon training typically aims at increasing your strength and stability. The only problem is that you may get carried away to the extent that you end up causing injury to yourself.

If you are thinking about taking up marathon training for the first time, ensure that you avoid burnout during your training to avoid under performing in races.

Since burnout affects both your mental and physical performances, remember to address both sides. Some of the tips that can help you include:

Give Yourself a Break

It is highly recommended that during your training for an upcoming marathon, you should at least take a day off each week. Some runners are usually not for the idea because they feel like taking a break is a waste of time. Keep in mind that the human body is engineered in a way that, when you rest, you give it a chance to repair itself. Usually, marathon training lasts for 4 months. This is enough time to work out and get much-needed rest. This is one of the best ways to avoid a physical burnout.

Switch up Your Routes

Changing your running routes is an excellent way to break the monotony. Furthermore, it poses a challenge to your body, something that you need a lot. When you maintain running on a particular course every day, the brain and body become comfortable. When you use different paths, you get to meet new challenges like slightly hilly grounds that require you to work harder. Additionally, the brain gets to face a new challenge, which goes a long way to help in improving your focus. Some people go to the extent of driving around in the name of finding good running tracks.


Regardless of why you are training, it is essential to understand that you need to uniformly build your muscles. That means you have to activate all your muscles. The only way to do so is by incorporating cross-training into your workout schedule. For example, instead of or running every morning for the rest of the week, you can mix your sessions with other pieces of training like push-ups, sit-ups, or even hit the gym for some weight lifting. Cross-training works by preventing only specific muscles from straining when you are training. With a balanced body workout program, your core muscles will become stronger, and your strength enhanced. To improve safety during your cross-training sessions, ensure that you are equipped with the right training gear for the various workouts.

Mental Preparedness

Like doing any other activity that requires concentration, you need to prepare yourself mentally to avoid overworking your body. When you keep thinking about your marathon training and the goals you have set before beginning, you are getting mentally prepared. Mental preparedness will also go a long way to help you get rid of anxiety. If you are about to race, one of the ways to gain confidence is by reflecting on your training.

Mix Hard and Easy Workouts

For convenience and proper targeting of the muscles, balance your training. Split the weeks so that in some weeks, you train hard and cut back on others to allow the body to recover. Within the 16 weeks of training, about six weeks should be dedicated to easy workouts. Remember that marathon training requires your body is fit. Easy exercises allow you to maintain your fitness without interfering with muscles that might have suffered an injury during your hard training.

Watch What You Eat

Any professional fitness trainer will tell you that for your body to cope with your training, you need to feed it the right nutrients. Remember that as much as working out will make your muscles bigger, it is what you eat that will determine the growth of your muscles. Additionally, see that you are always hydrated even when you are not training. Keeping your body hydrated will help in ensuring that your body is well regulated and improve metabolic rate. This is beneficial because it helps in the production of energy. Keep off junk foods when training since they can jeopardize your efforts.

Work With a Flexible Program

Usually, many people who are training for a marathon get their work out plans from professional coaches and trainers. Typically, the schedule is going to be tight and can involve very little opportunity to cut back on the intense training. To be safe, you will need to know how you can fix in your rests strategically and compensate later. There are some days that your body will refuse to get activated for working out. That means you need to rest regardless of what your workout schedule is saying. Strictly following the workout plan prepared for you can be tricky because, in many cases, it may not perfectly suit your physical needs.


Marathon training demands dedication. After the training period, you expect the hard work to translate into results. The above discussed tips will help you avoid burnout during marathon training.

As part of your preparation, keep your health in check by visiting a physician. You can hardly tell if you have an internal condition without being properly examined. A heart check-up should be part of this because it is one of the most vital organs during your training. Also, make sure you are using top-flight running shoes.