The post race blues are a thing y’all.
Many of us are motivated, at least in part, by running races. But what about after the race is over?
That is when the post race blues can set in if we aren’t careful.
How to Recognize the Post Race Blues
The post race blues can take on a variety of forms.
A sense of depression, a lack of motivation, and general apathy are all signs that you could be dealing with the post race blues.
And if you stop and think about it, all of those emotions are PERFECTLY NORMAL!
Unless you’re a serial racer, you have probably had this race date circled on your calendar for months. You trained for this race, got up early to get your runs in, made sure to get plenty of sleep, focused on improving your diet, and visualized how the race would go.
You booked your hotel, made your travel arrangements, and got your race day “outfit” together.
Then the big day arrives and you head to the start early, run your race, pick up your bling, and celebrate with something a little greasy and a couple of adult beverages.
Your target is gone. You’re no longer running/training with the purpose of gearing up for a specific race.
Now you turn off the alarm and fall back asleep, you don’t worry about missing a run, and you walk around in a state of perpetual “meh”.
I know the feeling…
How to Combat the Post Race Blues
The best way that I have found to combat the post race blues is to not let them set in to begin with.
As I mentioned earlier, most of the cases of the post race blues that I’ve encountered (either as a coach or as a runner going through them) have come on because of all of the focus and attention paid to a particular race and the natural deflation that occurs when that race is done and dusted.
Don’t let that happen to you.
One of the reasons I’m so vocal about my two big running goals (the Quest for 50 and to BQ) is that those goals are long term. I’m still years off from bagging either of them, and the only way to ever reach them is to stay focused on the big picture stuff.
Each race that I run now is simply a check point along the way to where I ultimately want to be as a runner.
Right now I don’t have any races on my calendar, but instead of feeling apathetic I’m looking forward to my next run and working on being ready to start a more focused training block when a race ends up on my calendar again.
And I think that is the key. I’m always working toward my running goals whether or not I’m training for a race.
Does that mean there is never a minor brush with the post race blues? Not at all!
There is still a feeling of “now what?” after every race because that checkpoint that I’ve been focused on for a few months is now behind me and I have to refocus on the big picture.
But that refocusing takes very little time at all.
Keep Moving Forward. Always.
Having a big goal helps me to keep moving forward, and that is something that I’d encourage you to do.
Your big goal doesn’t have to be something like a target number of races or a lofty finishing time goal.
It simply needs to motivate you. And if you can do that, your odds of dealing with a serious case of the post race blues will be next to nothing.
How do You Combat the Post Race Blues?
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