I recently posted an article in the media links section of my website about Des Linden and how she almost retired from professional running. The article recalled a 2017 Half Marathon in Australia where Des felt sluggish and lacked motivation. She had spent the previous 2 years training intensely for some really big races, and by the time she got to the Half in Australia, she was burnt out.
Without getting into a full recap (read it here for yourself!), the article really struck me. So often when we see professional or elite athletes on TV or in the media, we see all the good things; the successes, the fame, the triumph. What we don't often see are the setbacks, the obstacles, the dips in motivation, and the self-doubt.
Des' story highlights that lack of motivation and self-doubt happens to everyone, and that it's ok when it does! One of the most important things you can do for yourself is have a life filled with balance and reflection. Train hard when you need to, take a break when you need to, hang with family and friends, read a book, cross train, go on a hike or trail run. Constantly check in with yourself about progress, motivation, boredom, and passion. The key is to listen to your body and your mind.
When I feel self-doubt creeping in or I'm feeling burnt out, I try to remind myself of these things:
Take a break: Sometimes a change of scenery helps.
Switch up my routine: Feeling burnt out can come from boredom or over-training. Cross-training can help.
Remember my why: Why do I love what I do? Why did I get started? Why do I want to work so hard to pursue this?
Challenge my thoughts: If I'm feeling negative, I try to challenge those thoughts and question their truth. They usually end up coming from a place of frustration.
I'm so glad that Des shared her story with the world. Even though she's one of the best runners in the world, by sharing her experience she's helping normalize things we all feel everyday. And she was able to work through them, rediscover her passion, and win the 2018 Boston Marathon, the first American women to do so in over three decades. She heads to Boston again on Monday April 15, 2019, to defend her title. Win or lose, I think she's already won.
To follow along or find out more about this year's Boston Marathon, click here.
Katie (McKee) Lovallo
Hey! I'm Katie, and I specialize in Mental Performance. I believe greatly in mindset and the role it plays in life.