I’m a busy woman with multiple responsibilities, so I know how hard it is to balance everything while training for a marathon. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of training and overdo it, but burnout is a real issue that needs careful management. From my own experience, I’ve learned some effective strategies to prevent burnout during training.

Set Realistic Training Goals: To prevent burnout, start by setting achievable training goals. Take into account your daily schedule, work commitments, family obligations, and social life. Choose a training plan that aligns with your lifestyle, ensuring you can manage all your responsibilities without overwhelming yourself. Remember, overloading your calendar with excessive training sessions isn’t a sustainable approach.

Embrace Adaptability: The marathon training journey spans around four months, during which life can throw unexpected curveballs. Initially, you might have been able to commit to five days of training a week without any issues. However, life’s unpredictability means that there may be periods when you’re busier than usual. Break your training down week by week. If you have a busy day or week coming up, be flexible and adjust your training as needed, whether it’s swapping rest days or modifying workouts to accommodate your life.

Prioritise Consistency Over Intensity: Consistency is a cornerstone of marathon success, but it doesn’t require pushing yourself to the limit every day. Missing workouts or feeling overwhelmed can lead to burnout. Instead, prioritize completing your scheduled runs, even if you need to scale back the intensity. Remember, doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Have a Backup Plan: When you can’t follow your usual workout routine, having a lighter backup plan can help you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed. Break up your workouts into smaller, manageable segments, especially when time is tight. For instance, consider splitting a long run into morning and evening sessions to save time and prevent physical and mental fatigue.

Listen to Your Body: It’s crucial to heed your body’s signals when training for a marathon. Pay close attention to signs of fatigue, such as persistent soreness, exhaustion, or waning motivation. If your body is crying out for an extra rest day, don’t hesitate to take it. Rest days are an essential part of the training process, promoting recovery and resilience. Pushing through exhaustion or pain can lead to injuries and setbacks, so be kind to yourself and recognize when you need a break.

Tailor your training: If you’re looking to tailor your training plan to fit your schedule and goals, consider using Runna Coach. This app offers a range of training plans suitable for all levels and lifestyles. Its scheduling flexibility allows you to easily adjust sessions to accommodate unexpected events. Plus, with the promo code RWR2, you can enjoy a 2-week free trial.

Finding balance is key when managing multiple responsibilities. These strategies can help prevent burnout and allow you to achieve your goals while prioritising your well-being and other aspects of your life. Keep in mind that success is not solely determined by working hard, but also by working smart.