The post-race blues really are a thing. Similar to any other major event in our lives - planning a wedding, childbirth, reaching a huge goal in life - runners can become saddened after they cross that finish line that they've been chasing for weeks or months. This becomes increasingly challenging when the weather changes in the fall, daylight hours are lost and cooler weather makes getting your workouts in a little more difficult. Here are some of my top tips for staying motivated after your big, fall race. If you have other tips that I can pass along to my running clients, please send them to me.
- Sign up for another event. Perhaps the best way to stay motivated after running a race is to register for another one. Having an event goal on the calendar can keep you working toward another goal. This may be a little more limited in fall and winter, but you can use this opportunity to focus more on 5K races or travel to a destination race.
- Make it fun again - with themed races. Fall and winter are a great time to find themed races for various holidays. Run a race in costume for Halloween, gather your family for a turkey trot before you eat mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, or run a local night time run, lit by holiday lights in the snow. These community events can be a great way to make running a joy again, versus a chore. And you may just rope in your spouse, children and a friend or two on the journey.
- Focus on time versus distance. If you ran your first long-distance event, try focusing on time or speed intervals this fall; versus building endurance and increasing your mileage again. It can be fun to look at running in a whole new way.
- Cross train. Chances are that after your big event, parts of your body may be tight or weakened. Use this time to work on strength training, core work, balancing exercises and much needed stretching and foam rolling. Get your body healthy and stronger.
- Rest. Yup, I said it. Rest is definitely part of training, too. Take a planned week or two of rest to recharge yourself. Use this time to educate yourself on the sport of running, research cross training activities, take up a new hobby, get outdoors in other ways or reconnect with family and friends in a social environment. This is also a great time to work out any aches or pains with a massage or chiropractic care. You will return to running in a couple of weeks more recharged and ready to lace up those running shoes.
- Binge watch while pounding out the miles. If you are prone to hunkering-down during the fall and winter months and watching yet another episode of your favorite series on Netflix, why not save that screen time for when you are sweating-it-out on the treadmill. You could be burning 300-500 calories during the next episode of Friends, versus consuming unnecessary snacks from your couch.
- Hire a running coach or personal trainer to provide additional accountability, support and encouragement to your workouts. A coach or trainer can help keep you on task and provide variety to your workouts.
If you are looking for more motivation this winter, I'd love to have you participate in my popular winter accountability group for female runners. You can participate in Women Winter Warriors from anywhere - yes anywhere! Each woman receives her own custom sixteen week training program, which will also factor-in family and work schedules, winter vacations (yeah!), and cross and strength training activities. You will receive weekly private check-ins from me as your personal running coach, access to a private Facebook group with other supportive women, daily accountability and resources in the group, plus numerous strength and cross training programs from me as your personal trainer. This popular program starts December 1, but you can grab the survey now, so that I can get you your training program in advance. Last year, we had women train for their first 5K, some trained for a spring half marathon, while others just added consistency to their weekly workouts.