Q: Do you ever feel burned out? How do you beat the training blues and recommit to your goals?
Amy Marsh answers:
A: Swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then running a marathon is a major feat for anyone. On top of that is the pressure to not only complete the distance but compete and place in a division. It’s an extreme request. So, the short answer is YES – I have felt burned out.
In fact, at the end of last year, I was debating whether or not to continue racing at the professional level.
I was physically, mentally and emotionally wrecked. Traveling to seven different countries to train and race took its toll on me. It was an amazing experience that I don’t regret, but I was exhausted. I got to the point where I wasn’t having fun anymore. I had no desire to swim, bike or run and considered leaving the sport for good. Then, I got sick with a bacterial infection and had to cut my race season short.
I knew it was time for a break, so I took about six months off from serious training to get my mind and body healthy again. I slept a lot, spent time with family and friends and exercised whenever I wanted –nothing structured. A few months into my break I started to miss being fit and fast. That’s when I knew the passion was still alive. I thought to myself, I don’t want to end my professional triathlon career at a low point. I want to finish strong!
I slowly dug myself out of a hole and started to get back in shape. When you’re in a slump, it’s important to keep perspective and take it one day at a time. Set short-term goals and build up from there. Eventually, I set a long-term goal to compete at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii this October (which I withdrew from last year due to illness). It won’t be easy, but I believe taking time off from intense training has helped recharge me mentally and physically.
I’m having fun again. I’m motivated to race and look forward to the rest of the 2012 season!
Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, follow Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and follow Amy @AmyCMarsh.