You registered for, trained and ran your marathon. Congratulations! But, after months of focus on a specific event, the lack of structure in the days and weeks after an “A” race, while relaxing at first, can be a bit of a letdown. You need some much needed recovery time, both mentally and physically, but that doesn’t mean moping around. Keep reading for five tips to stay positive while you take a break.
Set recovery goals in your training plan
Most of us follow a training program that leads us up to our race, with no set schedule after. Post-marathon is a critical period for rest and recovery. Approach it as methodically as you did your marathon training, even setting a specific schedule and length of time for recovery.
Focus on nutrition
Following a marathon, muscles are repairing, joints and ligaments are resting and in general your body is healing itself. Don’t deny yourself food just because you aren’t working out as much as you were during training; your body needs nutrients to heal properly. Focus on fueling your body with a healthy combination fruits and vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates will help with your rest and recovery.
Pick a non-running hobby
Maybe you gave up reading during training because you fell asleep the moment your head hit the pillow each night. Or maybe you didn’t have time to take a new class at the gym or try out new recipes. Now that you have the time, delve into something, anything, other than running. Definitely exercise and be active, but keep it fun and restorative. If you don’t have a hobby, try something new that you’ve always wanted to do. A new activity will help remind you that running isn’t the only thing that makes you happy.
Connect with others
Whether they’re your running buddies or friends you neglected during training, finding time to connect with others can help you take your thoughts off of your post-marathon blues.
Pick a new goal
Whether it’s another marathon or a different distance, a bucket list race or participating in a charity event, setting a new goal gives you a reason to recover right and get excited about something new.