You’ve been working your tail off the past few months preparing for your upcoming race.
Each training session has had a purpose in pushing you closer to your goal of crossing that finish line with a big smile across your face. The foods you’ve chosen to eat have played an important part in your performance and recovery, and your social schedule has been based around when and where you need to fit your training in.
So race day comes – your hard work pays off and you CRUSH you goal. You go out for a celebratory breakfast with your running buddies….and now what? That’s the question a lot of runners ask, regardless of their experience level or reason for running.
I’ve spoken to a number of runners who spent months training for various half and full marathons, each with their own desired outcome. And I’ve spoken to runners who have used a half marathon as a way to stay motivated and on track with their healthy habits.
But when that external motivator is gone – whether it’s a PR, some shiny new bling, or the desire to not pass out on the race course – what do we do to keep ourselves motivated?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have never experienced the post-race slump. There’s just so many things I love doing, so I’ve always found it easy to transition from race season to off season. So today I’m sharing my top three tips for staying motivated after a race! My hope is that you’ll continue to crush goals alllll year long after putting these into action!
Tip #1: Find something you enjoy beyond running.
We all know how important it is for runners to cross-train, right? So we’ve all gone out and experimented with different forms of cross-training, riiiight??
If you haven’t done much experimentation, now is your time! Try out a spin class or a new group fitness class (I’ve got my eye on you, Orange Theory). For many of us, running is a very individual sport and it can be nice to get out and try something fun in a group.
More on the introverted side? Me too! While being in a room full of strangers isn’t my favourite thing, it’s far less intimidating when you and those strangers share a similar interest – fitness! Chat someone up about what brought them to the class. Ask them if there’s any tips they think you need to know. Find out what other activities they do. Who knows – you might just find a new buddy that will keep you accountable until it’s time for the next race!
And if you’re not into chatting with other people? Most spin classes are a good option, since dark rooms and loud music don’t really lend themselves to chitchat 😉
If the whole group fitness experience really doesn’t appeal to you, set some new goals in the gym! Try to do a handstand, or squat your bodyweight, or deadlift DOUBLE your bodyweight. All these things will give you something to work on and will give your body a bit of a break from running.
Tip #2: Work on your weak areas.
After your race is over and your body has recovered, take some time to reflect on where you kicked ass and where you need a little work. Did you feel fast on flat ground but struggled on hills? Did you feel sore in weird places like your shoulders or biceps? Did you experience a lot of nagging aches and pains during training?
Take a look at those areas you struggled with and come up with a plan of attack to improve them. You can work at strengthening your lower body to help with hills, you can work on your core to improve your form, and you can take a trip to a local fitness professional for an assessment to find out where muscular imbalances are hiding.
By working on these things while you’re clocking less mileage, you’ll have the opportunity to come back the following season an even stronger and more fierce runner. However, a word of advice: be sure to throw some fun things into your training! It’s incredibly important that we work on our weak points, but we also don’t want to be miserable all the time 😉
Tip #3: Remember your “WHY”.
It can be easy to get caught up in PRs, medals, finish times, fastest miles, etc. But at the end of the day, there’s a deeper reason we’re doing all these fun and crazy things. We all have our own reasons for striving for health and consistent progress – mine is to continually remind myself of what I’m capable of.
Every now and then we need to stop and take a moment to reconnect with our “why”s. In doing that, it makes the process of determining what our next steps should be just a little bit easier 🙂 So grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and take some time to reconnect with you “why”.Beat the post-race slump and stay motivated with these 3 tips! via @arianafotinakis #runchat #fitnessmotivation Click To Tweet
Have you ever felt the post-race slump? What do you do to stay motivated after a race? Care to share your “why”?