Whether you had a good race, bad day or mediocre performance, be smart about bouncing back after racing 26.2.
Contrary to popular belief, the marathon is not over once you cross the finish line. All the hard work and the mental nervousness will not cease to exist as soon as you are wrapped in that cozy mylar blanket. Experienced marathoners know this isn’t quite how things work out.
Whether you ran a great race, had a so-so performance, or just had a really bad day, within minutes after collecting yourself and coming to your senses, the post-marathon blues inevitably begin to set in. The post-marathon blues are the thoughts and actions that consume a runner’s mind for weeks after the race has finished. Preparing for a race that requires a long, intensive training block and can’t be run every weekend has that effect. It’s like the buildup to the Christmas as a kid — plenty of hype and excitement leading up to it, and then when it’s all over you feel a little deflated that have to wait another year before doing it again.
After a great race, most runners want to keep training to maintain their hard-earned fitness and see how far they can push their limits, while those that have a bad day might spend the next few hours searching the Internet for the soonest possible race where they can extract their revenge. Perhaps even worse, runners who have a mediocre race–especially if it’s the result of something out of their control–will dwell so long on the “what could have been” scenarios that their training will usually end up suffering for weeks.
So, regardless how your race went, how do you protect yourself from dwelling on the race and letting it negatively influence your training decisions? Let’s take a look at a few different answers in the following pages.