That’s Not a Sunburn: Training Alternatives to Avoid Running Burnout

Summer is coming, but that burn you feel might not be from the sun – it’s from too much running. Whether you’re training for the full 26.2 or just a 10K, burnout is a real thing. Perhaps you’re exercising more and eating more carbs than ever before, or just skipping one too many barbeques because you have a 16-mile training run (that’s not just me, right?). Running is hard. It’s supposed to be. That’s why we are all setting goals and challenging ourselves.

I’ve been training for the Synchrony Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on June 3 since Thanksgiving. That’s a really long time to be focused on something, no matter who you are. And while I’m SO close to that finish line and to the dozen donuts I expect to be waiting for me at the end, I am tired. I am sore. I am chafing in places I never knew I could chafe. I miss sleeping in. I can only rock out to my “power through” song so many more times (secret: it’s Ester Dean’s “Drop It Low.”) But I am SO close and I don’t plan on quitting.

So what do you do when you’re feeling like this? Well, you might just need a change for one or two workouts – and that’s okay! Here are four cardio alternatives to running that will help you power through race day training:

1. Spinning
Spinning is not only a great tool for training your heart and your run pace, but it’s also a great way to strengthen some of the muscles that running doesn’t. And you don’t need to sign up for a special Spin Gym to get in the practice. Download CycleCast in your phone’s App Store – its $7 a month, has multiple motivating coaches, new workouts weekly, and great music.


2. Kickboxing
Is the running burnout making you mad? Hit the bags. Literally. Gyms like 9Round and IHeartKickboxing have inexpensive drop-in prices and instructors that create the workout for you. Kickboxing is a total body workout that not only gets the heart rate up, but will help you with core and shoulder strength, all while providing an outlet for releasing your frustrations.


3. Elliptical

Even if you are not burnt out on running yet, I recommend the elliptical because it’s good to give your joints a break. The elliptical burns just as
many calories as running but is low-impact, so it’s not as rough as hitting the pavement with your feet.


4. Swimming

Didn’t I mention summer somewhere in here? There are so many benefits of swimming, even if you aren’t a runner. Swimming tones all of the muscles and is another great relief exercise for your joints that still gets the heart pumping and builds endurance.


Best of luck to you in your training – hope to see you in sunny San Diego!