After training for many months, weeks, or even years for a goal race, some people feel what is called post-race or post-ironman depression. It is a feeling of “what now?” after completing any event that has taken a great deal of time and energy, resulting in a loss of motivation and a feeling of emptiness.
In order to stop post-race depression before it happens, make a plan for the weeks following your “A-race.”
1. Take time after your race to recover. This could mean 1-2 days for a sprint, to 1-2 weeks for an Iron-distance race. It depends on the distance but also how fast you recover. After recovery, get back into it slowly. Don’t start to train structurely yet. Listen to your body!!
2. Set goals! Without knowing “what to do with your life” after a goal race, it is nice to have another race to look forward to. It does not have to be as difficult and time-consuming as the first, but start thingking about that race and train for it. Your entire year should not be for 1 race!
3. Give yourself a “reward” post race. Make the celebration continue on past the finish line. Finishing your race shouldn’t be the end of it all.
It may not be possible to completely get rid of the feeling of post-race depression, but it is important to know what is coming and make a plan so that you’re prepared after the race. Happy training!