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5 Ways To Beat The Post-Race Blues

By Cynthia Steele, 03/16/15, 3:15PM EDT

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How to hit your stride sooner.

It’s over – your goal race. You’ve trained, you’ve raced, you’ve eaten your post-race feast, and you’ve collapsed into your pillow for some much-needed rest. Now what? You might find that you bask in the high of the accomplishment for a while. But then, it happens. The post-race blues set in.

The post-race blues are a normal part of life, and they aren’t confined to running. The blues can happen after any big life event that you anticipate for a long time, or work hard to get to – a wedding, a graduation, a big achievement at work. But there are things you can do to cure the post-race blues.

  1. Take Time For Yourself. Take a few days and pamper yourself – enjoy the afterglow feeling of your achievement. Spending quality time with friends, getting a post-race massage, and reading a book (that has nothing to do with running) are great ways to enjoy yourself and recharge after a big race.
  1. Find New Fitness Fun. It can be pretty intense to train for a big race, and it’s easy to get single-minded towards the one goal. Often we feel beholden to our training plan and miss out on other fun fitness activities that we could be experiencing in order to “get miles in the bank” for the race. Try a new class like Zumba or barre, go for a bike ride, or pick out a new fitness video to change up your fitness routine. You may find you have a new favorite to add in for your cross-training days!
  1. Write It Up. Writing your race recap can be a cathartic experience – putting your thoughts about the race – good or bad – down on paper or electronically can help you work through the ups and downs of the day. It’s also a great way to preserve special memories of your race experience. Share your recap on a forum, group, or with friends – you may find that you inspire others to set a new goal for themselves by reliving your experience through your words.
  1. Run Free. Going for a run without a goal on the horizon can be liberating – nothing but the open trail and the sound of your feet on the pavement. No pressure, and no set mileage to achieve. Try ditching the gadgets and running “naked” for a completely freeing experience of running for the sheer enjoyment of it.
  1. Sign Up For Another Race! It’s no secret that I like to sign up for races (hence the name of my blog), and maybe that’s one way that I beat the post-race blues – I pick another goal pretty quickly and register for it. It’s an easy way to distract yourself from the post-race let-down and refocus on a new goal. And once you’ve registered and paid for the next big thing, you’re committed – and you can start your planning and training.

Have you ever had the post-race blues? How did you get past it?

Follow Cynthia as she continually does #5 on this list to beat the post-race blues at You Signed Up For WHAT?!

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