Feeling a bit lost or melancholic following a big race, like the London Marathon? Here’s how you can get over the post-race blues, as inspired by my article for Red Bull.
Have you ever returned from a race and felt a little blue? All your hard training and work has ended and you have nothing tantalising on the horizon?
The good news: this is perfectly normal. Whether you’ve been training for 6-months, a year, 2 years or more for a race, the blues can effect anyone and here are 10 ways to get over them.
1. Begin planning your next race!
When you can’t live in the moment of the training or event, it’s best to live in the anticipation of the event!
Research by psychologists Gilovich, Killingsworth and Amit Kumar has shown that the anticipation of future experiences, such as planning a race, is just as enjoyable as the experience itself.
Anticipation for an experience, really is a driver of happiness. Don’t book a rebound race just for the sake of quickly filling a hole though – get about planning something huge for you!
2. Live in the athlete mindset
Are you ready to kick ass in the brand new week ahead? I can't wait to jump into it tomorrow! What is your one goal this week that by achieving it would make it a very successful week? @armadillomerino . . . . . . . #personalgrowth #encouragement #growthmindset #selfempowerment #yourareworthit #changeyourlife #makethechange #makeachange #bethechangeyouwanttosee #transform #transformation #beinspired #dailyinspiration #inspiredaily #personalgrowth #determination #getafterit #pushinglimits #itsallmental #mindset #relentless #keeppushing #ambition #achieve #succeed #theweekoninstagram
When you return to reality, you don’t have to leave your sporting lifestyle behind.
You don’t need to be training for a race to live in the mindset of an athlete. While you rest after your race, focus on recovery and try something new at home that is fun, but not too intense. I’ve taken up Yoga and gone on adventurous weekends after races!
3. Invest your time in other parts of your life
I've had a wonderful time today at @chrisducker #youpreneursummit 😁 I've met a ton of cool people and amazing experts, some of whom have unknowingly helped me along my journey in podcasting and building my personal brand, they include @johnleedumas @janmurrayuk and @mrasquith I feel like the Queen Elizabeth Centre is a treasure trove overflowing with golden medallions of knowledge and kickass actions!! . I'm already so excited to put into action what I have learnt and share it all with you 😊🤙 . Hope you're having as much fun as I am this weekend (and I'm having it inside - who knew?!)
We sacrifice so much when planning and executing an adventure and now is the time to make up for it.
Invest the time you would’ve spent on your adventure, on other parts of your life that you want to improve and simplify.
When I completed my Ironman journey, I really focused on my business and enhanced my skills by attending online courses and live summits.
Just be careful not to do everything at once, so put your energy into one or two things.
4. Exercise + the outdoors = instant mood boost
Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So if at first you don't succeed, try again and then think outside the box and do something different until you do! Adventure is filled with useful lessons thay can be applied to our daily life! What's been your biggest lesson that adventure has taught you? #adventuretravel #lifeofadventure #exploremore #keepitwild #outdoorfitness #outdoorwomen #womensadventure #adventure #wildernessbabes #themountainiscalling #mountains #extremesports #adventuresports #trysomethingnew #ironman #triathlete #trigirl #entrepreneurmindset #mindset #wildernessculture #roamtheplanet #choosemountains #likeamountaingirl #achieveyourdreams #doepicshit #nothingisimpossible #adventuremindset #adventuremind
If you’re feeling low and lacking motivation, get outside or in the gym and release those endorphins!
Be aware not to over train, as I’ve said, you want to focus on recovery, but why not try some fun exercise like dancing, walking or hiking in the UK!
The North and South Downs are my playground, I love long walks along the Chantries and St. Martha’s. Besides, why worry about your next race when you’ve got some beautiful British countryside to explore…
5. Start Journalling
Journalling is a really great way to reflect on your thoughts and feelings and go deeper. To share the things that excite, interest and scare you.
Writing your journal by hand is very cathartic, as it slows you down, releasing stress and helping you to get past anxious emotions.
It can also help remind you of who you are, your ambitions and desires, and whether you’re living the life you really want.
6. Go with the flow
Wishing you all a wonderful mothers day and remembering those mothers who can't be with us today 💖💕💗 We took my Grandma, who is 92 and has Alzheimers, pottery painting yesterday for an early mother's day suprise! For my Grandma this was very much a micro adventure! It was stretching her comfort zone and trying something new! She had a fabulous time and I haven't seen her focus so much for a long time! We painted something different each and it was SO much fun! How did you celebrate mother's day? #mothersday #mothersday2018 #mothersday2018🌺🌸 #mothersday2018🌹🌺 #microadventure #adventure #trysomethingnew #trysomethingdifferent #inspirationalwomen #potterypainting #inspiringmums #grandma #grandmother #grandmotherslove #motherslove @appletreestudio
If you’re feeling low on energy or finding it tough to mentally push through challenges at work or elsewhere in your life, this is a sign of fatigue. It’s ok to relax once in a while, particularly following a big race (hello, Netflix)!
Don’t put pressure on yourself and push through it. Take time to enjoy life’s other pleasures, too. Learn a new skill, take up a new hobby, or for a quick happiness boost, listen to your favourite upbeat song, connect with somebody or do a good deed.
7. Gratitude Practice
When we come back from a race, we often focus on how different our reality is to our amazing adventure. We need to change this and see all the positive things in our life.
A gratitude practice is my favourite way to do this.
Each morning I write down 3 different things I’m grateful for and in the evening, I write down 3 things I’m grateful for that happened that day, from a great latte to access to clean water.
8. Spend time with family and friends
@Regranned from @laurakairos - “If you stay inside, you miss all the fun!” ❄️⛰ — @laurakairos @strengththroughadversity_uk @tamsynlouise and I went to the Peak District to have some fun outside, instead of hibernating inside! ❄️ A lot of snow, a couple of sleds, some impressive wheelchair off-roading and Rolo the Wonder Dog = happy festive memories 🎄 💚 @laurakairos has made an awesome film about it and you can find the link in her profile 😊❄ we hope it will inspire you to get outside with friends and make you smile 😊 #getoutside
Our friendships and relationships are so important and yet time with them is often limited when we invest in our training.
Now we’re recovering from our race, it’s essential that we spend time with our friends and family, developing our relationships, supporting them and enjoying each other’s company.
I love catching up with friends near and far on the phone, via Skype, for a meal or fun activity, like walking round Petworth Park or seeing Aladdin the musical!
9. Recharge your batteries
It’s paramount that you get in some really good sleep and eat nutrient-dense food.
In an ideal world, you want to have all electronics switched off two hours before you go to bed, so the blue light doesn’t disrupt your sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and be asleep by 10pm, for a refreshing minimum of 8 hours.
Fuelling your body with nutrient dense foods, minimising junk food and caffeine will aid your recovery and boost your mood. We could all do with this now and again.
10. Remember your race
Are you training for the @londonmarathon ? The London Marathon is less than a month away and as I was recently asked by a listener what I would do again for my Ironman and what I would definitely not do again, I felt that I might be able to help you avoid some of my race pitfalls. I was recently asked by a listener what I would do again for my Ironman and what I would definitely not do again! This was a little tricky to answer because there wasn't anything I 100% wouldn't or would do again - but there are things I would do differently! Have you entered a race? I would love to know what you 100% would or wouldn't do again! Here are my 10 things; 1. Know How To Change My Bicycle Tyre Before 2 Weeks To Go 2. Know My Sweat Rate 3. Calculate How Many Calories I Need To Eat Every Hour 4. Order Your Kit Months, Not Weeks, Before Your Race 5. Practice Taking Snacks/Drinks From People While Cycling 6. Really Understand What The Morning Of The Ironman Entails 7. Woman With A Plan 8. Quicker Run Time 9. Practice Transitions 10. Kit List For Each Bag And Packing List #ironwoman #ironwomanstrength #ironwomantraining #ironman #ironmantraining #ironman2018 #ironmanlife #getafterit #pushinglimits #londonmarathon2018 #londonmarathon #keeppushing #athlete #athletemindset #winningmindset #ironmantips #mindset #bodymindtransformation #ironmanbarcelona #triathlontraining #trilife #trilifestyle #runninglifestyle #runninglife #runningmind #racetips #marathontraining #marathonmindset
Family and friends may not be too interested in a minute-by-minute account of your race, as I’ve discovered! However, this doesn’t have to stop you from remembering your race and basking in your achievement.
I’ve framed my favourite pictures, hang my medals proudly, assembled a photo album, written a short story and about to release an audiobook. Find your own way of joyfully remembering your awesome race. Good luck!