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Burning Out

Answered By Jeff Arbogast

Question

As a sophmore 800 runner, I raced about eight times or so during the season. towards the end of my season, I began feeling lathargic before and during races. My PR was 2:07 at OC champs, which felt beautiful, but after that the trouble started. After running 2:08 at League Finals, I moved on to CIF prelims. Before my race, sitting and waiting, I felt none of the normal pre-race adrenaline or anything else. I felt tired as I walked onto the track a total lack of energy. I ran for 600m at a 2:04 pace, but died the last 200 meters, which never happens. I have endurence, and dying has never been a problem in the 800. My coach says I burned out; How can I avoid that next season in order to run at full energy and still feel good up to CIF finals?

Answer

"Burn-out" has a lot of meanings. Did you "burn-out" competitively? "Burn out" in training? I find it difficult to see how severn or eight races at an 800m distance would cause "burn-out though. I would look at other, more simple explanations. Start with your goal setting. Did you have specific and attainable goals for the end of the season? Were you just running to "see what happens"? Without specific goals you are a rudderless ship . . very possibly experiencing what you wrote about. Next . . look at diet, rest, and hydration. Did you follow pre-race protocols and get enough rest in particular? Did stresses of competing at a higher level preclude a decent night's sleep? Were there other stresses . . .end of the school year . . .finals . . . studying . . . etc.? One race does not a season make. Set specific goals, make sure all the off-track stuff is in order, and you should be fine. Arb