General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Burnout or just move on? Rss Feed  
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2014-01-04 10:17 AM

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Subject: Burnout or just move on?
So, I did my first HIM back in 2011 and trained pretty consistently over the course of that year and even going back to 2009 and 2010 was pretty active. I trained sporadically in 2012 and did a couple of OLYs and a sprint - last year, I did nothing. I stopped training in April and haven't done anything since.
I am no sports psychologist, but I would think that I would miss certain aspects of training, but I don't. To me, that says I need to find something else to do or some other physical activity I can get interested in. But maybe not. The truth is I don't feel I need to prove anything to myself anymore and I like sleeping in and having the full weekend to spend with my wife and not worrying about if I can get in a 3 hour training ride on Saturday. In some ways I think I was being very selfish with the time I was spending on training. I know not everyone wants to get up at 5:30 AM and train for hours - but my counter to that is - if you don't want to do it, then don't. There are plenty of other ways of staying in shape without going to extremes. I know I need to being some physical activity back into my life and maybe the answer is to dial things back a bit....I don't know. The burning question in the back of my mind is if I don't miss it - shouldn't that tell me something or am I just still burned out? Any advice would be appreciated.


2014-01-04 10:43 AM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
Happiness and good health, that's pretty much what drives many of us I would think. Do what makes you happy, fosters a good relationship with your wife and helps you stay healthy. There's plenty more than triathlon out there. I like s/b/r and I enjoy racing and if one day that doesn't seem fun anymore, I'll stop.
2014-01-04 11:46 AM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?

It's hard to say whether you are "still burned out".  What makes you think you were burned out when you stopped in April?  There are generally symptoms of burnout such as:

  • Dreading a workout rather than looking forward to it or just part of your day (like a shower is part of your day)
  • The goal you're working toward (A race, etc) doesn't feel worthwhile / isn't worth the effort / no longer has the draw it once had
  • "Going through the motions" rather than being invested in the training
  • Skipping workouts with weak rationalizations
  • When stopped, you don't miss it at all, more likely you feel a weight has been lifted

Are you posting here because you're on the fence and want encouragement to go back to triathlon?  Are you burned out?  Are you unmotivated? 

Well if you've done one HIM you know what long race training is about. If that's not your cup of tea due to "training for hours" or because you feel that's "going to extremes" and you'd like to have "the full weekend to spend with your wife", then you certainly can stay with spring and Olympic races. Training for those is generally a lot less time intensive for the mid-pack athlete.

If training finishing a sprint or Olympic doesn't give you what you want, then perhaps golf or basketball or just running or just cycling will give you what you want. Or if you want to sleep in and hang with your wife on the weekends, fine too.  It's your life.

 

2014-01-04 12:03 PM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
Are you doing any workouts right now? Do you ever workout with others? Sometimes this makes workouts fun rather than tedious and boring.

My two suggestions if you want to stay active for your health if nothing else:

Cut way back on training from what you used to do and do a fun sprint race.

Try a different sport like an Adventure Race. It would translate well from triathlon, is a team based sport, is rather fun as it takes mental/strategic thinking and athletic ability combined.

2014-01-04 12:09 PM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
I've had the same thought about training being a selfish pursuit. You spend a lot of time by yourself for activities that you enjoy doing. While they are healthy activities, I definitely understand about preferring sleeping in and spending time with family. I don't currently have my own family, but definitely see myself just running and not training for anything longer than MAYBE a HM, probably shorter. Unless I could take my family with me, I wouldn't want to head out for a 3 hour training ride. Also, I understand what you're saying about not having anything to prove to yourself. I find myself in that situation with other things. Once I've shown that I can do it, I kind of move on to the next challenge. It appears that in racing, for me, that challenge is an outright OA win. I have a few AG podiums and wins, but I can tell I won't be satisfied until I have an OA win. After that, who knows what will be next!

I'm not the wisest person out there, but if I had to make a suggestion, I'd say to find a physical activity that you like (running, biking, swimming, basketball, soccer, frisby, whatever) and do it for shorter durations several times a week. I would only say that if you still want that aspect of your life for health reasons.
2014-01-04 1:45 PM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
I've had some similar feelings lately. A string of running injuries had me pushing running (my favorite) to the back burner as 2013 progressed, and finally off the stove completely the last couple months of the year. Over the last two weeks, the pool has been closed and I had met my bike and swim volume goals for 2013. So I pretty much shut it down and shifted my focus to home stuff. Hubby was off work, and we nested and played. I enjoyed not trying to figure out when to squeeze in a workout, I no longer have that desperate "gotta get my workout in or it's gonna be a bad day" feeling. Ha, I think I kicked the endorphin habit! I like the idea of focusing on overall health and balance first, and yes, that includes more time playing with my husband. For 2014, I'll probably do a couple of sprints, and have my eye on a ragnar type relay in the fall, and keep workouts to averaging an hour a day or less. That just feels like "enough" and "healthy" for me.


2014-01-04 2:00 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
Not really looking for encouragement - just looking for advice from others to help know when it is time to hang it all up. And looking at your symptoms of burnout really hit a chord with me...

* Dreading a workout rather than looking forward to it or just part of your day (like a shower is part of your day) - I don't know if I ever "looked forward" to a workout...I did them b/c they were the means to an end
* The goal you're working toward (A race, etc) doesn't feel worthwhile / isn't worth the effort / no longer has the draw it once had - there was a degree of "been there - done that"
* "Going through the motions" rather than being invested in the training - never felt that way
* Skipping workouts with weak rationalizations - rarely skipped any workouts
* When stopped, you don't miss it at all, more likely you feel a weight has been lifted - I absolutely feel like a weight was lifted

Thanks for your advice and input
2014-01-04 7:42 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?

Originally posted by sbkass Not really looking for encouragement - just looking for advice from others to help know when it is time to hang it all up. And looking at your symptoms of burnout really hit a chord with me...

* Dreading a workout rather than looking forward to it or just part of your day (like a shower is part of your day) - I don't know if I ever "looked forward" to a workout...I did them b/c they were the means to an end
* The goal you're working toward (A race, etc) doesn't feel worthwhile / isn't worth the effort / no longer has the draw it once had - there was a degree of "been there - done that"
* "Going through the motions" rather than being invested in the training - never felt that way
* Skipping workouts with weak rationalizations - rarely skipped any workouts
* When stopped, you don't miss it at all, more likely you feel a weight has been lifted - I absolutely feel like a weight was lifted

Thanks for your advice and input

OK, it sounds like you tried triathlon, and it's just not the sport for you.  That's fine, there are many other sports.  Everything you just said about triathlon is how I felt about golf.  I never really looked forward to hitting the driving range, it was a means to an end.  After a few rounds at this course or that course, everything felt "been there, done that".  It just was not the sport for me.

My first triathlon was in 2003, my 1st Ironman was in 2006, and if it wasn't for crashing and breaking my collarbone last September then I'd have already completed my 10th Ironman.  I look forward to training (well, running most of all, cycling second, swimming is still a means to an end).  I look forward to a long ride even if it's the exact same course I've done 30 times before.  No been there or done that yet.  So that says triathlon is really still the sport for me.

Good luck and I hope you find an activity that is as fun and engaging for you as triathlon has been for me and still is...



Edited by brucemorgan 2014-01-04 7:43 PM
2014-01-04 8:55 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
maybe try switching it up, Xterra, century or charity style rides half of full marathons perhaps just some shorter distances. HIM is a big commitment and can have a pretty big impact on ones life. I am just TRYING to really get back into it after doing my HIM in my first year of triathlons - 2011.
2014-01-16 9:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
Are you just uninterested in the whole endurance aspect? Many here start thinking about the next race right after one, esp. if they didn't do well - that feeling of I can improve

Some aren't honest about not wanting to really do this sport and just skip training days until they quit by default. You seem more clear that you don't want to do this. You've earned your bragging rights, I say hang it up. Don't sell any of your gear though - just store it in the basement for now. If the desire returns great you'll be ready to jump back in, if not enjoy those cozy mornings with your wife


I hope to be able to say I finished a HIM one day!

Edited by MuscleMomma 2014-01-16 9:16 AM
2014-01-16 9:48 AM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?

Yep, agree, sounds like you just are ready to move on! I wish I felt that way, this sport is expensive!!  Take the time to try out a lot of different hobbies. Groupons are awesome for that.  I really wish I had the time to do that, but I'm too interested in the ones I'm pursuing now.

 

And by all means, if you can avoid horseback riding, do it.  My bank account begs you.



2014-01-16 9:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?

Move on if you want, and come back if you want.  If I look at my own "career" in triathlon over 30 years as I straight line, I see I crossed it many times, with times of no triathlon in between.  There is merit in staying healthy and active because it improves the quality of one's life.....how you do that really doesn't make a difference.  The fact is, most people who will respond to this thread won't be involved in triathlon in the next 2-5 years either.  Some will come back, some never will.  Stay active and enjoy your life!

You got any good stuff to sell cheap?



Edited by Left Brain 2014-01-16 9:54 AM
2014-01-16 10:02 AM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
Originally posted by sbkass

Not really looking for encouragement - just looking for advice from others to help know when it is time to hang it all up. And looking at your symptoms of burnout really hit a chord with me...

* Dreading a workout rather than looking forward to it or just part of your day (like a shower is part of your day) - I don't know if I ever "looked forward" to a workout...I did them b/c they were the means to an end
* The goal you're working toward (A race, etc) doesn't feel worthwhile / isn't worth the effort / no longer has the draw it once had - there was a degree of "been there - done that"
* "Going through the motions" rather than being invested in the training - never felt that way
* Skipping workouts with weak rationalizations - rarely skipped any workouts
* When stopped, you don't miss it at all, more likely you feel a weight has been lifted - I absolutely feel like a weight was lifted

Thanks for your advice and input


I echo your feelings man. I think burnout is a strong phrase though. Some people do triathlons for fun. You seem like a guy who did it to get it done, if so I relate to that. I don't know if you can really burnout from that. Like you say, you just move on, change your focus.

I know I missed many many many weekend breakfasts with my children and spent many afternoons napping. Pursuing a sport as a means to an end can lead to incredible selfishness that I sense, and for myself I know is true, you did not realize until you stopped. If you indeed change your focus then it would be clear, for someone like you, that you keep everything in perspective and you don't disappear too far down the rabbit hole.

2014-01-16 10:07 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
If you don't enjoy it, why would you do it? Find something else you love. I took all of last year off and enjoyed hiking/trail running/snowboarding. Sure I'd hit the treadmill or go out for a 40 minute run 3-4 days a week to stay in shape, but no real training. Now I'm back to it this year, because training gives me a sense of purpose and I LOVE it. Will I do triathlons next year? Who knows!

If you want to come back another year, do it. Otherwise perhaps you and your wife can try activities together and enjoy the time spent together. There is so much more to life. No one will judge you. And if they do, you don't need them in your life.
2014-01-16 2:52 PM
in reply to: sbkass

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Subject: RE: Burnout or just move on?
Originally posted by sbkass

Not really looking for encouragement - just looking for advice from others to help know when it is time to hang it all up. And looking at your symptoms of burnout really hit a chord with me...

* Dreading a workout rather than looking forward to it or just part of your day (like a shower is part of your day) - I don't know if I ever "looked forward" to a workout...I did them b/c they were the means to an end
* The goal you're working toward (A race, etc) doesn't feel worthwhile / isn't worth the effort / no longer has the draw it once had - there was a degree of "been there - done that"
* "Going through the motions" rather than being invested in the training - never felt that way
* Skipping workouts with weak rationalizations - rarely skipped any workouts
* When stopped, you don't miss it at all, more likely you feel a weight has been lifted - I absolutely feel like a weight was lifted

Thanks for your advice and input


I'd suggest letting "racing" go for awhile and see how you feel. Do the things you really feel motivated to do...and it doesn't have to be SBR.
The test would be if you are sitting on the couch and want to go out and run, cycle or swim....and you just go out and do it bc you WANT to.

I can understand where you are coming from, and I always have it in the back of my mind to evaluate what I "really" want to do. I am not afraid of the fact that I might move away from racing or triathlons if that's the way it goes for me. It's a lot of commitment and only fun if that's what you truly like.

There are no rules that say you can't morph, re-visit, leave, or change whatever .... it's your plan and no one else's.

I think it's good to get influences from people, but you have to do your own thing..
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