Is your training making you feel like burnt toast?

Is your training making you feel like burnt toast, ready to crumble from the drudgery of training and the pressure of competing?

If this is how you’re feeling then you are probably suffering from burnout which is a common occurrence in athletes and sports people of all ages.

Burnout in sport is often defined as a physical and emotional exhaustion which leads to sport reduction and reduced athletic achievement.

Probably the worst outcome is that it can cause you to drop out of sports altogether which has important life long health consequences.

The good news is that burnout is preventable. It also takes time to develop so if detected early it can be nipped in the bud.

Some of the symptoms of burnout include lack of energy, exhaustion, an increased morning resting heart rate, sleeplessness, tension, irritability, depression, physical ailments, decreased performance and loss of confidence.

The main factors that lead to burnout in sport are the pressure to win, over training, lack of fun and poor social support.

So here are some tips to help combat ending up like burnt toast.

  • ·         Find success in your performance rather then winning. Too much pressure to win can be extremely frustrating especially when the results aren’t evident. Often when the pressure is off in regards to winning your performance will improve.
  • ·         Take rest days where you do not exercise or decrease the intensity of exercise to recover both physically and mentally. Overtraining can lead to physical injury, fatigue and illness. A good indication of overtraining is an increased resting heart rate. A heart rate monitor will help you track your resting and exercise heart rate.
  • ·         Plan time for social activities that have nothing to do with your sport. Go to the movies, spend time at the beach with friends or kick the footy around the back yard with the kids. Do something that you love! If you are spending all your spare time on your sport you have no time left to live and enjoy your life.
  • ·         Stay connected with your friends and family as this provides social support.  When you are so focussed on your sporting goals it is easy to disconnect with the people in your life. Share your thoughts and feelings with them as they can be a potential safeguard against burn out.

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