It’s SO easy to burn out while training for a marathon. The miles can get tediously long, and training can become downright boring. As you reach your peak weeks during training, it’s common to want to skip runs and mentally check out because it may seem like your entire life is revolving around running. Fun right?
The good news is you aren’t the only one! This is a completely normal feeling as you progress through your training, and, even though it feels like you might as well give up, there are a few things to do to keep your running routine fresh.
Try a new route.
It’s always invigorating to check out new places, even if it means driving a little bit from where you normally hit the pavement. Try taking a break from traffic by stopping on your way home from work and running a new route. Or plan a long run at a different location than normal. New scenery can make your run go by faster and also keep you occupied taking in the new sounds and sights.
Shuffle the tunes.
If you’re always listening to Top 40 type music, it’s time to mix up your music. A new Pandora station can give you a different outlook. Another idea is to try a podcast–it’s a great way to brush up on educational and conversational topics while running. If all your runs are done with music, go rouge and leave the music at home. You may notice something new and even enjoy the sound of your feet hitting the pavement.
Set smaller goals within your training plan.
Instead of looking at the whole plan for your race, focus on each day, or weekly. It will seem a lot easier knowing you only have three runs a week instead of knowing you have two more months of training until race day. Breaking up your schedule can make it seem more manageable. Also, if you complete a run that you were previously dreading, reward yourself with a treat! Whether it’s a massage after a hard week or a simple ice cream cone the evening after your run, do something that makes the hard runs more fun.
Take a break!
If you are feeling flat, it’s okay to deviate from your plan, at least for a little bit. It can help to refresh both your mind and body. Sometimes a mini-break can even lead to better running and a rejuvenated spirit. If you take off a week, you won’t lose your fitness level and you may come back stronger than ever. When you take time off, do something that you enjoy and make sure to relax!
During training you’ll have incredible highs and disappointing lows. Make sure you surround yourself with people who support you and your goals. Having a friend to talk to when you need to be encouraged through a challenging patch or want to celebrate your victories helps to make the experience all the more rewarding. Remember, you’re training for a marathon—stay positive and think how amazing it will feel to cross the finish line!