With race season upon us, focus is on training and racing. But what about the post-race period? Avoid the blues and stay motivated with these tips.
You focus for months on a race, channeling all of your energy and emotions into training, race day plans, strategy and your ultimate goal. But after the race is over, we can encourter a post-race slump. Motivation dips, and it’s difficult to get back into a routine of running, eating well and staying hydrated. This is particularly true for bigger running goals such as a marathon, half marathon or off-road endurance event. Your running goal has set your routine for so long. Once the goal is no longer there, it can feel very strange!
Slide back into a running routine after you’ve reached your race goal by trying these practical and motivational tips.
Get A Post-Race Training Plan In Place
The best way to get back into a running routine after your race is to have a plan ready and waiting for you. Your mind and body love routine (that’s what makes you a runner!) But it will be tricky to put together a running plan if the post-race blues have already hit you. So, before your race, write out a gentle, appropriate plan for the month after your race. It might include training for your next goal. Or it may incorporate rest and easier runs. Either way, having it there in black and white will help you to get back on track.
Remember What You Love About Running
We all love running, and there are so many things to celebrate about it. How about this: think about the post-race period as a delicious treat which allows you to indulge all the things you love about running. Make a list of them. They might be things you haven’t been able to do whilst training for your race, like running with your kids or dog, exploring off-road routes, or doing certain club runs. You can look forward to them all after your race!
Make Running More Sociable
Race training can be quite lonely. The post-race period will allow you to reconnect with club running mates, training partners, and slower or less fit running friends. Use the weeks after your race to make running more sociable. Set up running dates with friends, and make a conscious effort to slow down, recover, perhaps even leave your watch and GPS at home.
Keep Your Nutrition In Check
One of the hardest things about getting back into a routine after a race can be nutrition. It’s natural to want to celebrate with a few treats, but the subsequent weight gain only compounds your negative feelings about self image. So, make it easier for yourself by making sure your fridge is stocked with healthy foods, your freezer has some batch-cooked healthy meals ready and waiting, and you have some sort of plan for healthy eating after your race. You can still indulge of course! But having a go-to plan (just as you would for training) will help you get back on track.