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!