I just recently have had some conversations with some athletes about how much they run, how much they train, how much they race, and how much they are feeling like they may be a bit burned out or they don’t feel motivated to run. Been there, felt that. It’s not unusual to feel that way, and you could attribute that to what some may call “burn out”, but running is so personal that I don’t think you ever really get burned out from it, it feels too good. What I think may happen is at times in our running careers we sometimes start feeling so good and so confident that we start to pile every single run and every single event on our shoulders in order to become better and better every time. It’s not possible though, running is spurts of greatness, bits of emotions when you are feeling like you’re not touching the ground, the perfect day with the perfect conditions, you ate just right, you slept just enough - and it all came together. The rest of it is, a hurt knee, a sore back, no time, it’s too hot, work stress – none of which ever helps culminate into the run you’re looking for. Don’t over goal it. When I talk to people I coach or ask my opinion about their running, the first thing I ask is, “What are your goals?”, “What are you trying to accomplish?”. Two things come out of that, a very scattered answer of “I just want to get faster in the mile, the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon for sure, and my dream is to beat my marathon PR. Yes, scattered for sure, there is too much pressure on you in a life full of pressure. My answer back usually is, “Don’t over goal it. Pick one, focus on it and then move on.” An elite athlete will take a good year to focus on one event, but will use other events to tune up for that main event. Try that. Don’t over goal it. This past weekend I saw some of our athletes running with other folks even though I knew they could have run faster. Why? You don’t always need to run faster, sometimes just enjoy the run, or help some else get through their run. I am telling you now that too much focus on yourself during every single race and every single training run will eventually backfire in expectations that are not met because you over goaled it. And it’s not because you’re not fit, it’s because you over goaled it. Yes of course sometimes you need to take a step back and not run for a while, especially if you’re injured or need to just take some time away for one reason or another. But in running it’s not a must. Just go run, and breathe, and enjoy. Go run a race and don’t worry about who is in front of you or behind you, just breathe and appreciate the gift of just running. When you balance that, look out running world.