October 23 2017
Race Pace Jess offers five tips that'll help runners change their negative thought patterns while training for or running a race.
You did it! You crossed the finish line of your goal race for the year feeling proud of all the hard work you put in. After spending some time celebrating and recovering, it’s normal to feel a bit lost as to what to do next. You followed a training plan for weeks and weeks, but what your training plan didn’t tell you is what to do after you crossed the finish line. No worries though, we’ve got you covered!
Here’s what to do after your training plan ends and you’ve crossed the finish line:
First, focus on recovery. You trained for this race for a very long time. Your mind and body need a break. This means no hard workouts of any kind for 1-4 weeks. If you have any aches or pains seek the help of a doctor. Whatever was bothering you during training, will most likely show up again at another time.
Recovery can include getting a massage, foam rolling, stretching, going for long walks or taking a restorative yoga class.
If you don’t feel like running for several weeks or even for a month or two after your race, give yourself permission to do some other kind of physical activity. Try not to beat yourself up if you don’t feel like running. These feelings will likely pass with time.
Second, write detailed notes in your training log about the race and how you think your overall training went. The more information you include the better you’ll be able to pinpoint what things to keep doing and what to do differently during the next training season.
If you aren’t sure what to write in your training long, read this.
Third, make a commitment to work on your weaknesses. For example, if know you need to strength train more in your off season, write out a plan of action and commit to it for a specific number of weeks. Or if you need to work on your mental strength pick out some new books to read on brain training and start working on getting your brain strong before you train for your next race.
Fourth, after you’ve had some time to recovery and process this race, spend some time thinking about what big goal you would like to accomplish next. Immediately, after a race it can be easy to either swear off running forever or set a huge exciting goal. Try not to make any quick decisions about your next goal until you’ve recovered from the race you just completed.
Finally, continue to celebrate your accomplishments for years to come. If your race didn’t go as planned there are still things you accomplished and learned during this training cycle that are worth celebrating.