How to Cure Post Race Blues
The exhilaration of completing a race, whether it's a marathon, a triathlon, or 5K is a feeling like no other. The months of hard work, training sessions, and anticipation culminate in the sweet taste of accomplishment as you cross that finish line.
However, once the medals are hung and the cheers have faded, many runners experience a peculiar emotional slump known as the "post-race blues." But why does this happen, and how can we counteract it?
Understanding the Post-Race Blues
The post-race blues are more than just missing the thrill of race day itself. They are a result of the intense focus, dedication, and anticipation that go into preparing for an event. After the race ends, you might find yourself feeling aimless, a sense of void left in the wake of such dedication.
You've invested countless hours into training, loads of miles in your running shoes, and probably made lifestyle adjustments to perform at your best. When the race concludes, all that effort seems to dissipate, leaving you with a feeling of emptiness.
The reason can be boiled down to focus.
Months of preparation gave you something to focus on and give sincere attention to. And, when it ends, it can leave you feeling strangely empty. The focus and attention has to go somewhere, and we often direct it to the sudden lack of something to work towards.
Beating the Blues: The "Next Trip" Mentality
So, how do you overcome this post-race lull and keep your running spirit alive? We definitely don't have a scientific answer. But we've got something better - an anecdote!
The Long Run Coffee team uses a mental hack we call the "next trip" mentality.
The idea is simple but it works: never return home from a race without planning the next adventure. This doesn't mean you have to start an intense training regimen right away or formalize anything by immediately signing up for another race. Instead, it's about giving yourself something to look forward to, a new goal on the horizon.
This can definitely be informal. Think of new states or cities to race in, a new terrain to experience, or even a new post-race brunch location to try out. It can even be as simple as setting a new distance or pace goal to work towards. The key is to ensure that, as one running journey concludes, a new one begins.
Why It Works
By creating a "next trip" mindset, you're providing yourself with a future focus. Running becomes less about individual races and more about a continuous adventure. It allows you to maintain a sense of purpose, motivation, and structure in your running life.
The anticipation of new running goals and adventures can help chase away the post-race blues. It keeps the excitement alive, even after the confetti from your last race has settled.
So, remember, the post-race blues are a common phase in every runner's journey. The trick is not to eliminate them but to turn them into a platform for your next running chapter. Start thinking about your "next trip" and keep that running spirit alive and thriving.
Running Lessons for Life
We at Long Run Coffee are positive that running is a microcosm for life itself. Don't tell us we're dramatic - we already know.
But the Post Race Blues concept is really applicable to anything in life. Whether the event is a vacation, friends visiting from out of town, or a ceremony of some kind, when it comes to an end, it can leave us feeling empty. So the answer then, is to just plan ahead. Plan the next thing to look forward to. Looking forward keeps us moving forward, and that's what it's all about!
Your running journey is an ever-evolving story, and there are always more chapters to write. Set your sights on the next unforgettable adventure waiting just around the corner.