Overcoming Training Fatigue and Burnout

Overcoming Training Fatigue and Burnout

📅September 7th, 2015, 17:00

Watching your workouts take a nose-dive as the season progresses, feeling overly fatigued and dreading each workout because of the toll it starts to take on your body is mentally crushing. Burnout can happen to anyone…the big question is whether you are able to turn it around and start feeling like there is some life in your workouts again!

Training fatigue is one of the most common ways people land in the burnout phase. Too much volume and too much quality without adequate recovery is the ultimate recipe for fatigue and an early end to your season. Often athletes get into trouble when they have a few bad workouts and feel the need to ramp up their training in order to compensate to get the results they want. This usually achieves nothing but increased fatigue and injuries.


Besides overtraining, too much competing or too many max efforts (whether in races or practice!) can also lead to burnout and fatigue. It takes a lot to talk yourself up and kick it up for very intense workouts and even more so every time you compete. Take each competition or hard workout and think of how it plays into the big picture; if it’s a little race you shouldn’t approach it the same as your focus race of the season. Set a goal for each event depending on how it fits into your grand plan; if it’s not a major event on your schedule, part of that goal should be to take a more relaxed approach so you don’t use up all of your energy on your first competition of the season. Some races can also be used as workouts or training races…as long as you stick to your plan!

It is also important to note that recovery is just as crucial after competing as it is in training. It is very easy to skip the recovery elements after a race due to the post race adrenaline rush, and the need to chat with all of your fellow athletes about what you just went through. If you can, try and get some proper recovery and nutrition after these intense efforts. It will set you up for more consistent training and you will actually feel good the next day!

better care

Below is a list of things you can do to help you avoid training burnout:

  • Adequate sleep/rest: Make it a priority to get a nap in after hard workout sessions. Also, aim for 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep each night in order to stay in sync with your natural Circadian rhythm.
  • A well rounded diet: Make sure you get enough calories in throughout the day to sustain your workload and that you’re getting a good blend of lots of healthy foods!
  • Hydration, hydration, hydration! Keep yourself well hydrated around the clock, not just when you are working out. Keeping your fluid volume up throughout the day allows nutrients to reach your muscles faster and will keep your body systems functioning at their best.
  • Listen to your body. If you wake up feeling tired, you should probably go a little shorter and easier than you had planned. Life stress also plays a part as well in overall fatigue…realize that a big work day (or a travel day!) is not a rest day and that stress extends your recovery time from training loads. Learn to listen to your body so you don’t dig yourself in a hole!
  • Have a longterm plan: Know your goals and create a training plan…”Plan the race and race the plan,” so to speak. Having a coach who is knowledgeable look over your plan will help you stay accountable and keep the bigger picture in mind.
  • Preventive maintenance: Find (& stick to!) a routine that focuses on mobility, balance, and strength. Foam rolling and targeted yoga poses make great combo!
  • Cross training: Adding variety into your training schedule will keep you fresher, healthier, and more motivated. Make sure to pick an activity you enjoy!
  • Come to Recharge! Having access to special recovery tools like the NormaTec compression boots , hot/cold contrast baths, and our full-spectrum infrared sauna combined with regular bodywork appointments can make a huge difference in how well you recover and how quickly you can get back to your normal training routine.

Following these simple guidelines will lead you to improved performance, greater enjoyment, and better health to keep you doing what you love and loving what you do!