MidTraining Crash

I’m currently just getting over my marathon midlife crisis.   I’m not injured and no I’m not having any serious problems in life (running is great but doesn’t define me) .  To say I’m having a running marathon crisis, unsure of myself, my training and everything about this damn marathon is an understatement.

I tweeted last week sometime that I was psyching myself out for the marathon.  No apparent reason, I just began to question everything about my training.  I cannot even fathom running a 20 mile run right now, let alone 26.2.  A goal pace hovering around 7 minutes? (3:05-3:10).  It was enough to make me wonder what I’m doing. 

Thank goodness Victoria (who competed in 140.6 last  weekend…one the most kickass bloggers and people out there…).  Anyways thank goodness Victoria sent me this truly inspirational video:

Thank goodness we have the same sense of humor.

It has blown my mind how quickly this summer has gone and I don’t think it helped with the marathon having a daily countdown on the NYC marathon facebook page.  Every single day it ticks a number off.  Every single day I see the marathon is getting closer. I do agree it is motivating and exciting some days but other days, I sit here in a tizzy questioning what did I get myself into.  It is just hard to escape the thoughts lingering of am I good enough?  I do believe that anything you are doing for the first time, it will be hard to escape these thoughts.  On the same level, training for anything you are bound to question yourself once, twice or ten times.

I think a lot of people come across this problem in anything they do.  It’s a typical midlife burnout. 

The middle of a semester of school.

The middle of summer when you are working.

Or the middle of summer when you are training and it’s 100.

The middle of winter when it’s -30.

The point is in anything you do you won’t have 100% sunshine and butterflies.

I know that I’m being productive with my training and doing what I’m supposed to be doing but this is still my first marathon and I’ll be the first to say I’m completely outside of my comfort zone.   Although this post seems negative or that I need to be coddled and walked through every single step, it’s not.  It’s just my thoughts thus far on training.  Maybe I need reassurance to know my training is going well.  Maybe I need to realize that the heat takes a toll on training and every run will never feel great.  Either way I feel a bit better now that I can be honest with myself.  I will make it through this brief midtraining crisis (whatever that means) and cross the finish line strong and healthy.

After using this week (9 weeks until the marathon) as a step down, lower mileage week I feel a little less in my rut.  Am I still nervous for the race?  Of course, but if I wasn’t I would be in my comfort zone.

Questions for you:

Do you ever get a midtraining (or anything) burnout? 


  1. Thanks for your thoughtful post. My burnout comes when I tweak a new or existing injury that affects my daily routine or training. I try to stretch too much or work through it or rest. Any and all of those things affect me mentally and take me off my game. Especially with a race upcoming. Keep up your momentum and you are on your way to greatness 🙂

    1. thank for you stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Injuries and burnout (for me personally) go hand in and hand pushing myself with I’m tired and sluggish is where my problems have rose.

  2. do i get midtraining burnout? it seems i always to. with my last marathon, i pulled the break just in time when my resting HR went through the roof. better to err on the side of safety, i took two of days off in a training routine that required running daily. i was lucky enough to be able to arrange my working time the way i see fit and slept more than ten hours in two consecutive nights. the race went better than i had planned (2:57). the marathon before that was different: i did too much too soon, didn’t want to see the truth (that i was overtraining) that my rHR told me, came down with a flu and had to take almost two weeks off. i missed my sub-three goal by 11 minutes. the message (if there is one): it all depends on what you do with your midtraining burnout. as always, listen to your body. (but i’m talking to myself here.)
    love the video, btw.

    1. Thanks for this Henning and sharing your story. I always enjoy you sharing. I have been trying to really get as much sleep as possible too. I think resting heart rate is awesome and really tells more then so many other tests.

  3. If you make it through a training cycle without feeling burnt out or hating it then you have not trained hard enough.

    That goes for a 5k, marathon or Ironman. There comes a point where you are about to break and say just get here already and I don’t care about my goals. When you hit that point you usually have a step back week/day and the energy is re-ignited and then you find your rainbows and unicorns even if for a brief moment. It reminds you that the task you are embarking on is not easy and that even though you feel like you are going to break you can and will get through it.

    1. I agree completely Jason! I think in any training cycle you do (like you said) there will reach a point where you question everything. Pushing through and seeing the outcome is what I’m hoping will get me through now.

  4. As I train for my first marathon, I feel the same way. When the run gets tough I start doubting myself that I will be able to do it. I have yet to publicly announce my goals because I am afraid of letting myself down. But whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right!?

    I am so inspired by your training. You’re doing awesome!

  5. 1. I love that clip.

    2. I have told you many times already, this is common…it happens, and you will get through it–even if I have to pull you through it. You’ve got this, I know you have it in you. If I can do it, you sure as hell can.

  6. That video is clutch. Keep it bookmarked.

    26.2 miles is far. No denying that. But you can handle it. Keep plugging away at training, one day at a time.

  7. If anyone makes it to the start line of an event without experiencing some sort of burnout, then I want to know what plan they’re following, lol. But seriously, hitting that point means you’re doing work and training seriously. That’s why I love the “three weeks on, one week off” cycle.

  8. I get midlife crisis burnouts on the daily. I wish I was joking but alas, I am not and I just keep telling myself it’s completely normal. 😛 But really, everyone second guesses what they are able to do before they accomplish it… It’s like the moments leading up to a public speech. Once it’s over, you realize it wasn’t as bad as you anticipated. I think you’re going to rock it and even though it’s a rough running week… like you said, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

  9. mid training burn out!? OH YES. happened to me with both halfs this past spring. I think i can chalk it up to starting off so gung ho and ready to follow my “plan” and then life happens, work pops up, other commitments and you hit that wall where you are like whyyy am I doing this, i’m tired, what am I doing again? yadda yadda yadda…but then again i think when I get close to it everything picks up and then i run and can think to myself THAT’s why I did that. things will pick up and when you cross that line you are going to be so proud of yourself.

    1. Exactly, I often think about that too. Elite athletes don’t have to worry about jobs (working out essentially is there job!) but for the rest of us…we have a real life to contend too. That being said, I give parents huge credit because this is a huge layer to add to training!

  10. I got midtraining crash when I trained for my first half, too. I feel like it happens when we are training for a new race – the enormity of it hits us and we start speculating about everything. At some point, I realized that I need to just enjoy the ride, and that’s what I kept telling myself over and over until race day.

  11. I am two months out from MCM and already feeling a bit fatiqued by the workup. This will be my third full marathon and, I think, part of the problem for me is that I have done one before so it is no longer unknown territory. I seem better able to rise to the challenge for new events. The other part, and perhaps more signficant for me is the hot and humid weather. I know from last year that the end of summer is a particularly difficult time for me to run, especially getting up in the 18-20 range. I know I will get through this.

  12. I always feel burned out! I like to consider it my running passion burning deep inside. 😉 When you want something so badly it is completely normal to doubt yourself. But, I will tell you, if my slow ass can run a marathon, take a spill at mile 3, and then continue the next 23 all battered and bruised, then you most certainly can (and will!) excel in NYC. We are our own worst critics. All of us here see all the work you’ve put in week after week and we have no doubt you will do amazing things in November!

  13. No coddling here. Burnout sucks and happens to most everyone training for an intense goal. But what sets people apart is what they do once they hit ‘the [mental] wall’. Do they push through it and hit their goal or do they throw a pity party and say better luck next time. You, my friend, are the former of those two examples. You have 9 weeks before race day which means that you have 9 weeks and 1 day until you can say, “Eff that training/race, I’m sleeping in.” You’ve got these next 9 weeks in the bag.

  14. Yep. I’m 23 days from my first full with my last 20 mile run on saturday morning…and i’m wickedly nervous. This will be my second time doing this distance and I’m terrified i won’t finish/i’ll hate every minute/etc. I think I’m also reaching the point where i just want to go now. I just want to cross the damn start line so I can eventually cross the finish. I love to run…but the longer distances every Saturday are starting to wear me down, and there are definitely days where I want to be able to go easier without worrying how it will affect training. For all that, I’m not sorry I signed up to do this. I think it’s been a good experience for me, and I am really excited for September 15…pretty terrified, too, but more excited than anything.

  15. girl, NYCM is far away! you don’t have to do 20mi yet! that’s the beauty of it… each week, your LR is far enough to make progress but not too far to be unmanageable.

  16. I just started trying to train for that 1/2 and I’m already wondering HOW PEOPLE RUN SO MUCH?! I really want to stick with the goal, but if I do cardio for an hour, I can’t imagine doing it twice as long. But I just tell myself that if I completely suck and it takes me 6 hours to go 13.1 miles instead of close to 2, then whatever. And I hit the same wall (that you’re talking about, not the one where I don’t want to run for 2 hours) when I decided to start as a CrossFit trainer and spent ALL my free time in the gym. I ultimately got burnt out and decided I needed a life other than CrossFit and work, and I never regretted my decision not to go through with becoming a trainer. (This is so not inspirational/helpful and it sounds like I’m telling you to quit… which I’m totally not. Haha. My mind is EVERYWHERE.) You’re a runner with her own training schedule. I’M sure you’ll do great on the run, but the point is really just to get out there and do something you’ve never done and to make a memory. So what if your training isn’t perfect? So what if you miss your goal pace a little? You can always improve for marathon #2, riiiight?! And just add one day to that counter and IT’LL ALL BE OVER!!!!!

  17. i know you have the endurance to do it…you were a distance swimmer after all. you just have to remember that you have the power in your legs and your mind to make it through! channel your inner barney simpson. you got it, girl!

  18. You really won’t have any problem finishing, you’ve ran 20 milers before you started marathon training. No matter what time you run, it’s going to be a PR.

    They say if you aren’t standing at the start of the marathon, feeling unprepared, and like you haven’t ran a long run in ages, then you didn’t taper enough. I say this to you so you know that we all kind of freak out, just get in your long runs, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself…………and have fun! 🙂

  19. I have all of the confidence in the world that you will be successful in this girl, and you know I wouldn’t lie to you- I am a brutally honest person! I certainly get mid-semester school burn out or when finals approach and I think I will have problems as applications for grad school are due. not quite the same as a race or a marathon, but it is how I can try to understand how you are feeling. I am always here for you to let out worries and stress.

  20. I currently reached what I would call a mid-quarter life crisis (better known as a quarter-life crisis). Turning 25 will do that to you! I know burnout oh-too-well though – in between tough semesters at school, training for races, and mid-season funks, I’ve come to realize that these burnouts are a necessary part of life. You’ll push through! And you’ll come out stronger and more determined than ever 🙂

  21. ah, I was thinking the same thing this past week. Buttt my first marathon is THIS SUNDAY!!! EEEK. I’m not a speedy racer so I’ve decided to view it as a long run that is my longest run thus far (like most long runs have been these past few months) instead of a ‘race’. I’m not racing against anyone and no matter what time I finish in it will be my PR so .. nothing to lose here!

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