Congratulations to all of the St. Jude runners! You’ve accomplished something great while helping to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As many of you just finished your first half or full marathon, you may be wondering what’s next. You did the training, crossed the finish line, and now you’re left with what we call the Post-Marathon Blues. You spent hours and months training for something, and now a part of your life seems to be missing. It’s common to feel a little down or depressed now that the big day is over, so how can you avoid the blues?
BE PREPARED FOR YOUR POST-RACE RECOVERY AND
HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE.
Know that it’s common to feel down after the big event. Go into your race with an idea of how you will plan your recovery. Having a timeline or next steps will put your mind at
ease following your event.
WHILE YOU’RE FEELING THE “RUNNER’S HIGH” AFTER A RACE, ASSESS WHAT WENT WELL AND WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.
Note what worked and what didn’t, and what you could do to improve your experience the next time around. Whether you met your goal for the race or not, keeping a journal of nutrition, hydration, and training do’s and don’ts will be beneficial in the long term.
KEEP TRAINING, BUT SHIFT TO CROSS-TRAINING OR LIGHTER EXERCISE UNTIL YOUR BODY HAS FULLY RECOVERED FROM THE RACE.
You may feel like you’re losing fitness since you’re not putting in the heavy mileage, but it’s important that you allow your muscles time to relax and recover before getting back into training. A full recovery will help you get back to what you love doing most — running!
BEGIN A REVERSE TAPER TO GET BACK TO YOUR BASE MILEAGE.
Basically, as you reduced mileage before the race, begin to build mileage up slowly until you reach a base mileage with which you’re comfortable. Your reverse-taper time will depend on your body and how you’re feeling following the race. Most training programs suggest a four-week recovery period to get back to your base-mileage point.
SET A NEW GOAL!
Once you’re back to normal training, set a new goal to reach. Maybe it’s time to conquer a full marathon, or maybe you want to improve your time in the half. No matter what your goal is, set a new milestone to achieve so you have something to work toward.
Recovering from races is just as important as the preparation that goes into them. Have questions about training or recovery? Stop by and chat with
me or anyone on staff!