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Why Sasha Gollish is taking a break

How this runner is dealing with burnout

Sasha Gollish

Sasha Gollish competed at the World Championships marathon two months ago in Dubai–and since then she just hasn’t been feeling like herself. She wrote a blog post on Saturday after not starting the ACXC national championship about the burnout she’s experiencing.

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Photo: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

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Gollish says she didn’t take any of her own advice when it came to balancing her running, personal and work life. “All that advice I’ve given you about taking breaks and allowing the breakdown to build up, I ignored it all. And now, now where am I at? While my body feels good my brain is completely exhausted.”

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Gollish says that the biggest sign that she was entering full-blown burnout was when no matter how much sleep she got, she still felt tired. “I just felt off. My workouts were going great. Things at work were great. My home life was good but there was something in my gut that was saying this wasn’t going to work. The joy I got from these activities wasn’t the same.”

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Burnout looks different for different people. “After the IAAF World Championships with my foot injury healed up, I couldn’t wait to get back out running,” Gollish says. “While I took a few days off after the race because I just did not want to run in the oppressive heat in Qatar, I got right back to training when I got home. In fact, I was so excited about training, I went a month without a day off. ” While Gollish had outwardly been taking care of herself, she hadn’t taken time to slow down and check in–she just kept pushing forward.

Gollish references Brad Stulberg’s growth equation as a starting place for identifying where she went wrong. The equation is: stress plus rest equals growth. “I’m not going to lock myself in a room, I don’t think that’s going to help me either. I will finish out the term at the university because working with the students brings me joy. I will find ways to enjoy time being active outside with friends and family. I will be sure to do daily check-ins to see how I’m feeling.” Gollish acknowledges that she had neglected the rest part of the equation, and it caught up to her.

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It’s important that runners keep tabs with the various directions that their lives are pulling them in. When work picks up, training may need to slow down. When something big happens in your family, take the appropriate time to recover. Going forward Gollish plans to embrace being active over structured training and even taking some time to do nothing at all.