The post-race blues can get any runner down. Follow these tips to pull yourself out of the pit.
After months upon months of training, you finally cross the finish line of your highly-anticipated race. You are immediately preoccupied with taking post-race photos, admiring your new hardware and celebrating your hard-earned accomplishment. But once that post-race excitement has subsided, you come back to reality. The extreme high you experienced upon completing your race is followed by a severe low. This is a common running phenomenon known as the post-race blues. Here are some tips to help navigate this difficult component of running:
- Splurge. Following your race, if you want to, let yourself indulge (just) a bit. Eat and drink a little more than you probably should, and know that it’s okay. You can give yourself a few meals (or a few days!) to truly take advantage of the fact that you just completed a race.
- Cross-train. If you’re feeling a bit burnt out from your race, take time in the weeks afterwards to embrace a new goal or challenge. Perhaps you’ve always been interested in kickboxing, or maybe there is a new cross-fit gym opening by your home. Post-race is the perfect time to try something new.
- Quality time. Let’s face it: sometimes running can interfere with your personal life. Who hasn’t skipped a social obligation because they needed quality sleep the night before a race? With your race behind you, spend time with friends and family you may have (unintentionally) neglected while training. You can also do something (non-running related) for yourself: read a book, see a movie or go on a hike.
- Seek support. If you’re having trouble post-race, talk to fellow runners. The struggle is real, and the simple act of talking to others can make you feel better.
- Go on vacation. It’s hard to suffer from post-race blues when you’re on vacation. The best part about traveling after a race is that you can focus entirely on enjoying your trip, since you don’t have to worry about fitting in key workouts or hitting your weekly mileage goals.
- Plan another race. Finally, and most importantly, when you’re ready…sign up for your next race!