How Much is too Much?

This is a very subjective question. It’s different for everyone because everybody is different.

I know I’ve been doing a lot lately, maybe even more than is good for my body. This is (hopefully) going to be a 50 mile week for me and I’m juggling that with multiple zumba classes and yoga classes. It’s a lot, there’s no denying it. And my body is feeling it for sure.


After this week, I won’t be doing quite as much activity. I’m exhausted from all of it. The early morning runs followed by work all day… I don’t know how some of you do it! Once I get back to school, my schedule will settle down to just running and maybe yoga once a week or so. There certainly won’t be any more daily doubles. I know some people can do it, but I’m not one of them. Even now that I’m fueling myself properly and working to become less obsessive, I still can’t. I missed out on a lot of social things this break because I didn’t want to miss zumba or couldn’t fall short on mileage; it left very little extra time for me this vacation. I don’t think I spent more than a few hours just doing nothing all day very much at all (unless you count the internship, but that just left me more tired).


So if my body couldn’t physically handle all of this, then why did I do it? Because I hate being home with nothing to do or look forward to. It made me happy to be working out all the time since it’s something I honestly enjoy doing. Zumba is literally something I look forward to all week long when I’m home. I love going to see all my 60-year old friends on Tuesday nights. I love the energy in the room. I feed off of it. It’s the one thing that I get excited for when a vacation nears, besides seeing my family. My town holds no appeal for me anymore and since most of my friends have moved on, those classes are something I do for myself.

I’m happy to say that I made it through this vacation injury free and I’m certainly in some of the best shape of my life, but I won’t be continuing the hours upon hours of workouts I’ve been doing on a daily basis.


Just running. Simple as that.

How much is too much for you? Do you find yourself getting caught up in it sometimes?

About pickyrunner

I'm Sarah, a (mostly) health-crazed 20-year old New Englander living in Baltimore. Taste buds of a 4-year old, joints of a 90 year old, brain of a chemist, appetite of a teenage boy, legs of a runner. Mindset of a Champion. Follow @pickyrunner
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70 Responses to How Much is too Much?

  1. Amanda @ Run Principessa says:

    I cannot ever tell what is too much. Usually I’ll get sick as my body’s way of telling me to slow the eff down. But like you, I work out to keep busy and not be bored! I’m grateful for classes to get me back on a schedule, but not grateful at all for school. Ugh.

    • pickyrunner says:

      I tend to work myself into the ground until it’s too late. Not smart! I feel the same way about classes putting me on a routine- but not looking forward to the stress that comes with it at all!

  2. chasingchels says:

    I am sooo glad to hear you say this love! Seriously, I wondered how you could do all of this (granted I wonder about the mileage you run too just because I can’t imagine that in a week, but I also better get used to the idea since I want to run a marathon in 2014….) without your body feeling it, but I definitely understand where you are coming from with your motivation to do it. Plus, those are all fun things to do🙂 I find myself getting caught up in stuff a lot sometimes, so I have to take a step back every now and then and ask myself if I REALLY enjoy doing it or if I’m only doing something because I think I HAVE to…and whenever my body starts to feel it or I dread doing something I usually love I have to ask, is it too much…usually a short break helps to alleviate that!

    • pickyrunner says:

      Exactly. It’s totally the feeling that I have to do all of it. Like, I paid for an unlimited yoga pass so if I don’t go AT LEAST 3 days a week I’m not using it. I just have this need to push myself to my limits, so I think stepping back next week will be good to ease my way into a higher intensity schedule.

  3. When I was in college and had days off during the week, I’d make those days 2+ hour workouts at the gym and be really strict with my diet. I loved it too. But I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. I think I’m being more realistic about health now. Life’s busy, but you just figure out what can work for you.

    • pickyrunner says:

      Wow, that’s a lot of working out! I don’t know if I have the attention span to last that long haha but I know once my life is busy again, working out will become less of a priority too.

  4. really glad to read this post! i totally understand doing zumba because you love it – i’ve definitely skipped a rest day here or there that i should have taken because it was super nice out or i just wanted to run but i’ve realized in the long run it doesn’t pay off for me. i’m glad you’ll be getting back to school and settling into a more normal routine and i’m also SO happy that you made it through break injury free. now i just need to take myself to a zumba class so i can see what all the hype is about…

  5. I’m glad to hear you made it through the vacation injury free (isn’t that one of our biggest fears as runners?). I know that college coaches are not ones to allow all the extra activities of zumba (sadly) and plus with classes. UGH. You are going to have a great track season though. Bring it 10k.

    I have not been getting up early to run lately and have become a later afternoon/night time runner…who am I. But the treadmill allows that I suppose.

    • pickyrunner says:

      I don’t know how you have the energy to run at night! If I don’t get it out of the way in the morning, forget it! And I was totally getting my zumba cravings (is that even a thing?) out of the way so I could make it through track without it haha I just have so much fun with it!

  6. Abby says:

    Wow, this is so good that you’re realizing that about yourself. Sometimes you truly can have too much of a good thing. I have noticed that during my HM training that my body needs breaks.. I was considering skipping my “rest weeks” (3 mile short runs with a 6 mile long run) in favor of running a race sooner, but boy did my body need this week! The rest makes me a stronger runner, I truly believe it.
    While I was amazed at your activity level, a part of me was kind of dumbfounded.. how the hell is she doing this?! Haha you amazed me, and at the same time, it’s good to know that you’re giving yourself a rest.
    Can’t wait to see how your track season goes! It’s so clear and so inspiring how much you’ve grown this week. Rock on.
    Have a great weekend, Sarah!

  7. Whoa, 50 miles is a lot of running girl! Although, it’s hard for me to judge. I’m not a runner, so even 25 miles would be way too much for me. I definitely push myself too hard sometimes. I know I am over doing it if my whole body hurts and my workouts are suffering. Yesterday, I went to the gym to do some intense cardio, but when my legs said “no” I finally agreed with them and backed off.

  8. There’s a fine line between working hard and working yourself to the point of exhaustion! Glad you are taking care of yourself and getting a little rest this coming week!

  9. beyouatbeme says:

    So happy to hear you realize this. I am a runner as well and have found my Healthy set point, mileage wise. For some runners, training is just that training. For those of us with a history of an ED, training can simply be “excessive exercise” masked. When we are honest with ourselves, we can determine why we are running the high mileage. Is it because it makes our bodies feel good? Is it to burn off the guilt we feel for our food choices? Is it because we are feeling we are “less than” if we don’t hit a certain number of miles? The truth is, those of us with a history of ED can easily confuse our running with our self worth. Making peace with our body and treating it with respect and kindness (the way we would treat our friends) is what we strive for. HOpe you have a great week in school!

    • pickyrunner says:

      Well said. I definitely get caught up in the excessive exercise, although I was training for track this month which is why my mileage was so high. I am such a number person. I always feel like I need to run more miles because the number is so important to me. It shouldn’t be. Zumba is a great workout alone. I don’t need those miles to make it even better. I’ll just burn myself out.

  10. Considering how much activity you were doing, I’m not surprised your feeling it! That is intense. Glad you’re recognizing that it’s too much and you need to step back a little.

    • pickyrunner says:

      Thanks girl! I do really enjoy it and I’m not actually “sore” or anything, but I do feel tired all the time, so I know that’s a sign that I need to take a step or two back.

  11. myhighonlife says:

    Great job on staying injury free.. but it’s great to see that you see that you may be doing too much! It’s always good to get back into routines.
    I was thinking about this same thing this morning. My whole body aches and I might be pushing it too much. I am trying to work out real hard though since I’ll be sidelined next week with getting wisdom teeth out. Yesterday I ran 60 min, lifted legs, and less than 12 hours later was at an intense 60min spin class. As much as I’d like to keep my 60min of cardio going per day, I think my body is telling me I need to rest for a day.

    • pickyrunner says:

      Yep- you sound just like me. “Compensating” for those times when you might not be able to do as much. It’s not a good trap to fall into!

      • myhighonlife says:

        That’s exactly what I’m doing. And just like you I’m OBSESSED with numbers.. be it the # on the scale, # of miles, # of calories, you name it! Hoping to break it before it becomes too big of a problem. Enjoy resting a bit🙂

  12. break can be tough. I know there was a point in my life where i hated going home because I feared boredom and being alone. i am happy to say I no longer stretch myself too thin on the exercise front over break, it is something you should challenge yourself to next break. there is no need to really make yourself less tired over break.

    • pickyrunner says:

      I think I’ll try it. I know when I get home in May I’ll be on my “off-season” for track and I’m going to fully commit to taking a week off of running. It will certainly be a challenge, but a good kind of challenge.

  13. Rachel B says:

    I’ve been trying to figure that out for myself lately too!! I’m thinking about not setting mileage goals each week – just running as much/little as I feel like or is realistic with weather and all the other things I’m doing. You put in amazing workouts this break, it will definitely show through in your track season!! Make sure you take a rest day to let your body absorb all that training – I always think its good to have a day off right before the season picks up so you’re nice and fresh and ready for the workouts and speed🙂

    • pickyrunner says:

      Oh trust me, I have an awesome rest day planned for Monday🙂 It wasn’t the mileage that was a problem, is was the fact that I wasn’t taking it easier on the running when my other classes picked up a bit more. I think you have a pretty great plan going, though, running by feel. When I’m no longer being trained it’s something I’ll be working on for sure!

  14. Megan says:

    You are an animal! I like the schedule I’m on now, it has me running 4x a week and I lift two others and take a day off. It is perfect! The schedule I am on now is 5 1/2 – 6 hours a week and it feels perfect! I also don’t run the miles you do : ) I like having my hour or so a day and that is all. You will find your perfect balance now that everything else is falling in place for you.

  15. kepotts says:

    Recognizing “too much” is a huge step, kudos’ to you! I usually start to get really tired & cranky if everything adds up to be too much. In fact, I’m almost at that point right now! Might need to step back myself🙂

  16. I’ve definitely been having a tough time trying to figure out how much is too much for me on the exercise front. It’s the “off season” for me running-wise, so my mileage is hovering around 3-4 miles/week (hahaha yup. Whaddup, one run per week), but I’m struggling to figure out how to fit in everything else that I want with my free time. I’m doing Best Body Bootcamp, which I really enjoy, but I’m also taking three dance classes and I need to swim to train for the indoor tri I’d like to do, and it’s tricky to figure out how to fit all of those things in without going overboard. I mean, a lot of times there’s overlap, of course (I’ll use dancing and swimming as my cardio BBBC workouts, for example, instead of the stat bike or something like that), but it’s still definitely a challenge. I’m glad you’ve been able to realize where your limit is and hopefully you’ll be able to get your energy back by following what’s best for you🙂

  17. I’m the same way when I’m on break or just have a lot of time on my hands. It’s better to keep busy for me because then I enjoy my down time more. Have a good weekend🙂

  18. Picky Nicky says:

    50 miles in a week is amazing🙂 keep it up!

  19. Whenever my body is tired, I know then I’ve done too much. However, I admit I do get caught up. For example, I’m having a “I feel fat day” or I feel I overindulged the night before. I feel like I have to do extra work to make myself feel better/make up for it. I’m trying to get better with this though!
    I completely understand what you mean with the Zumba. It’s what you do for you and that’s what my daily gym trips are for me. I’m sure the 60 year olds will be missing you though😉

  20. You were go go go this break! That is me in school (we switch places- expect mine is meetings and classes not exercise). I am sorry you didn’t get to relax this break, but I hope you are still satisfied with how you spent the break. I cannot sit around and do nothing either but I am also not allowing myself to fall back into an unintentional exercise addiction so I spent a ton of this break bored except when I was on my mission trips. Now I finally found a groove (I make a to do list full of things I can do to keep my mind active haha it is stupid but whatever) and it is time to go back!

    • pickyrunner says:

      We are totally reverse twins! Haha I’m actually really happy with how my break went. It was the first time I was able to not literally hate being at home in four years and that’s huge. My parents are overjoyed by it. The next time I’m home, I will be taking full advantage of the couch and all the cable my house has to offer, especially since it will be my last break living in that house!

  21. Brittany says:

    I hear you on being bored and wanting to workout to fill that time, but I think it’s great you are taking it down a notch with all that!! I TOTALLY think you can handle it, but even badasses like you need rest!! You really are awesome though with that shizzz.

    • pickyrunner says:

      Hahah thanks girl. I didn’t jump right into it, so it’s been a very gradual increase in activity that I didn’t really notice too much. Now that I’m there, though, it’s a lot and I know I can’t keep it up during the school year. It was fun while it lasted🙂

  22. I’m glad to hear that you made it through your break injury free and that you’re making more of an effort to fuel yourself properly🙂 Too much for me tends to vary a lot. There are weeks when I’m full of energy and need to be constantly moving to get it all out, and then there are weeks where I don’t feel so hot and I take it easy to prevent some serious burnout. I think that as long as you’re feeling good, not becoming obsessive, and being smart about it, then there’s nothing wrong with doing something that you genuinely enjoy.

    • pickyrunner says:

      I agree. It only becomes a problem when you feel like you have to, and I was definitely teetering on that for awhile. Toning it down a bit will allow me to reevaluate why I’m really doing it.

  23. allieksmith says:

    How much is too much is a good question! I think it’s different for everyone!

  24. I limit myself to no 1 hour 30 minutes a day max. It definitely is easy to get caught up in it, especially when training with other people and different people as you get invited to take another class or go for a run. My body always puts me in check. When the epsom salt baths are needed I know I’m over doing it!

  25. Listen to your body girl🙂 that’s always my number one rule! Sometimes your body tells you what your mind doesn’t want to hear

  26. balancingonhoney says:

    Oh yes! I never know how much is too much until I get there, which happens all to often because I don’t like the feeling of not having anything to do!

  27. Hey! Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Liebster Award. You can check it out on my blog post at

  28. Chelsie S says:

    I know that I’m constantly worried about doing too much, not doing enough, and doing things for the wrong weekends. I think that I’m finally, FINALLY figuring it out. Fueling is DEFINITELY key.
    And while I would consider shin splints to be an injury … congrats on making it through without MAJOR injury. However, did you seriously publish this this morning and then say WHY AM I SO TIRED to me less than two hours ago?! Silly goose. haha. No wonder why you’re tired!! Monday, you should literally strap yourself to (a) the couch or (b) your bed!!

  29. So true! Sometimes my knees start hurting a little, and I always stop there.

  30. Ellie says:

    I’m reading the book “Diary of an exercise addict”. It’s really eye opening. Check it out maybe to see if you’re overdoing it a bit?

    • pickyrunner says:

      I’ve read it! I really enjoyed it a lot. I know I overdid it these past couple of weeks but I also knew it was the last time I would for a long time so I wanted to make the most of it.

  31. Kaitlin says:

    Subjective indeed. It’s hard to base what “okay” for someone is really too much for someone else.

    I’m like you and I love keeping busy but have found that going hard all the time does leave me exhausted. I don’t know why but I have always had a difficult time relaxing. I almost stress out if I am not multi-tasking. #issues. Goodness you must be exhausted for all the activity your body was going! I would just read the length of your long runs and then Zumba! I think I got a little caught up at home in how much I could do or should do. It really came down to what my sister was doing and in order to fit a certain image, I needed to do XYZ. Even sometimes I find myself obsessing about how much time to spend at the gym and if that workout was worth it or I needed more. Then I think why am I stressing this? It’s just taking away from well being and even taking away from other fun things (but I do think the gym is fun sometimes because its my alone time and I’m in my own world) hehehe

    Happy Friday!

    “Keep Calm and Carry On”

    • pickyrunner says:

      It’s so subjective. For one person, 15 miles a week might be a lot but for another, 100 miles a week is a cake walk. I’m certainly nowhere near either of those levels which goes to show how different everybody is. I often forget that though. Great perspective. You always have something interesting to say about these topics🙂

  32. Pingback: Did you know I like to run? | pickyrunner

  33. lifeasliv says:

    Everyone is different and everyone’s body responds differently to exercise– as long as your happy and HEALTHY, then I don’t see an issue.🙂

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