The triathlon season seems to get longer every year, which means that burnout can be a major issue. As a coach I see athletes starting to struggle with motivation around this time. Stepping back, taking some time off and recharging is a necessary part of training. The fall is a great time to do that.

If you feel yourself slowing down, not wanting to get out the door for that long ride or simply wiped out, the best thing to do is to recognize it and act on it. Pushing through the fatigue is a part of training, but after several training cycles a full break is often needed.
I suggest taking some full days off, then get into some other activities like hiking, yoga, walking and even fishing. Give your body time to recover, then get moving again with something other than swimming, biking and running. Don’t worry about losing fitness either, gains are made when the body is ready to handle a new training stimulus.
In addition to a physical break, give your mind a break too. If you spend time online looking at triathlon gear or reading all the triathlon magazines, take a break from them. Get your mind completely off triathlon and maybe take up that project in the garage or basement you’ve put off for the past four months. You may find that after a few days you don’t really miss triathlon, and that’s a good thing.
I read a quote from pro surfer Kelly Slater once, he said that motivation comes and goes, but inspiration is forever. Your motivation will wane but if you give your mind and body time to recharge you will be faster than ever when you are inspired to get back out there.
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