3 Ways I’m Preventing Training Burn Out

I cannot lie, last night’s run was awesome. Four miles of pure perfection. I hit negative splits without trying and just felt so so good…. but it was really hot out. So hot.


This run really got me thinking about how this half is shaping up against my half last Nov.

When I was just a couple weeks out from my first half I was feeling pretty burnt out on training. This time I am pumped up and ready to rock. I think a lot of it has to do with my attitude towards training in general.

The first training cycle I followed my plan to a tee (except for when my sciatica flared up). I was afraid to skip any of my runs or to cut them short because I thought I needed every mile of training in my schedule to get me to the finish line. I also got up at 4:30am every Saturday to get my long run in because that’s when you’re supposed to do a long run, right?


Right now I’m doing three things that I think really account for my lack of burnout.

1. Less Junk Miles, More Quality Miles 

This time I’ve done things smarter and on my terms. If I’m really not feeling great I’ll cut a run short (or even skip it). I think eliminating these junk miles has helped my legs stay fresher despite doing more longer runs than last time. It also helps me focus on getting quality miles out of the ones I do run.

2. Picking a Good Time of Day for ME

I also haven’t done any of my runs at 4:30am. I am NOT a morning person. I hated getting up at 4:30am to eat, digest and then run before the weather hit 90 degrees last year. This time I’ve done most of my long runs at night, and that alone has prevented a lot of burn out for me.

Plus I also don’t have to go to bed at 9pm on Fridays which is nice!

3. Adding in Speedwork

Finally adding in speedwork has really helped to keep things interesting for me. Instead of having four boring, short-to-mid length week night runs I vary up how I get those miles in and play around with intervals.

I know none of these things are groundbreaking, but they have really helped me a lot.

I’m sure when I start marathon training later this year I’ll HAVE to start my long runs in the morning given the amount of time those runs will take me, but hopefully I’ll find a way to make getting out of bed at 4:30am interesting. Oh wait, that’s not possible : ) I’ll figure it out when the time comes I guess!

Are you a morning runner or a night runner?

Do you allow for any wiggle room in your training schedules or follow them to a tee?




  1. February 5, 2014 / 8:00 am

    I cannot even listen to you talk about how hot you are! I took the dog out in the backyard this morning and not even 3 minutes later he was limping to come in because his paws were too cold! It is currently in the negatives out there! Ha-it’s all relative, I suppose 🙂

    • February 5, 2014 / 8:07 am

      Hahaha wish we could trade for a couple of days! Poor doggy. If you want to ship him down here for a couple of weeks I would take good care of him and bring him running with me as often as he wants 🙂

  2. February 5, 2014 / 8:41 am

    Great post, I’ve battled with the same issues preparing for my races. The junk miles is huge and I dont know what I would do without speed work.

    I will run anytime I can find a minute to run BUT those 430am runs are pretty tough. The training plan is a BASELINE, I change it all the time based on how my body feels.


    • February 5, 2014 / 11:15 pm

      The 4:30am’s killed me. If that was the only time I could get a long run in I would probably have to switch my focus from half marathons to 5Ks haha

  3. February 5, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    I’m allllll about wiggle room. Actually, I schedule is a long run and speed work once a week. Whatever happens on the other days, happens! ps. morning runner, all the way!

    • February 5, 2014 / 11:16 pm

      I WISH I was a morning runner. I can’t stand getting up early but it is really nice to get a long run out of the way. As much as I love long runs, when you know you have to do it at night, you have to arrange a lot of your day around it.

  4. February 6, 2014 / 9:14 pm

    That’s great you feel so good right now. Perfect way to go into your next half.

  5. February 9, 2014 / 12:56 am

    Love your blog Kristina! You are so real and funny and it’s great to hear about your running journey. Plus I’m a cat lover too! I have 2 and they make me laugh every day. I am currently training for my second 1/2 marathon and I also prefer to run at night. I pretty much always run with my husband so I don’t have to worry about the safety factor. I am definitely not a morning person and was worried about doing my first 1/2 in the morning since I didn’t really do many morning training runs but it was totally fine. The adrenaline and energy of the day just kicked into gear.
    Anyways, keep up the great work!