The Post-Marathon Blues

For the past 6 months I’ve had marathon on the brain, and for the past 3 months, I’ve been in intensive, challenging and seemingly neverย ending training for the aforementioned event.

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And now it’s over? I have no idea what to do with my life.

I know that it’s normal to feel this way after a big event, but honestly I can’t seem to get myself entirely out of the funk. I’ve now run twice, and they’ve been just-for-fun, not-even-taking-my-Garmin runs; absolutely glorious! But now I need a new challenge in my life, be that work, fitness, blogging or something entirely different.

 

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Visual representation of me running free… except I live in London

As for fitness: I’m still meant to be resting and recovering, etc. etc. I’m almost certain I won’t be doing the triathlon in June, given that it’s a lot of time and money to invest in something I’m not 100% sure about. As for my next running challenge, it’s supposed to be Budapest Marathon in October- a group of us from my running club are all going together, and to be honest I’m much more excited about the holiday than anything else. There’s a 35km option as well as the marathon, and I’m pretty certain I’ll downgrade to that one- I just don’t feel (right now) like I have the energy to go into another training cycle. Perhaps last time I went in blind- just knowing that it would be hard, but not understanding fully exactly how and why it would be hard. Now at least I know what’s coming, and I want to make sure my head is in the right space to put myself through that again.

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For now? I’m enjoying the gym, and the lack of structure- though not the lack of goal!

Oh, and as an addendum- London Marathon weekend is nearly upon us, and I’m so excited- it’s like our Superbowl!

 

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If anyone has suggestions for how to get over this slump, let me know! I know it’s something a lot of athletes go through and I’m all ears!

Lots of love,

Pippa xx

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22 thoughts on “The Post-Marathon Blues

  1. Yep, it will pass. Take a well-earned break, and your mojo will have signed you up for the next one before you know it. I don’t recall exactly what my wife said when she was wheeled out of the delivery ward after the first one, but it sure as hell wasn’t “Woohoo! Let’s do that again next week!”

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  2. The first week after the marathon is the worst. There’s the physical and mental recovery from the hard effort.
    My advice: don’t downgrade from the marathon just yet, especially if your friends are also doing it. Within a month, the memories of the pain, etc. will go away. That still leaves 4 months in which you can prep for training, and then train again. The second time, it’s actually easier, even if the work is same (or even harder),.
    Have you found a way to reward yourself yet? That would be something to do. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And a new goal, non-fitness related, is something that will help! Even if you’re reluctant to set one up now….

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    1. That’s encouraging! London Marathon is this weekend and it’s definitely got me inspired again! I think I’ll just take it easy for the next few months and see what comes up! Budapest would definitely be an amazing marathon, especially with friends ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Budapest that sounds AWESOME! you should do the marathon i think that might be a race you regret you didnt do the full for if you dont. for me usually the best way to get over the slump is to take some time off then register for a really fun race to get me back in the groove…sounds like you already did that though so maybe have some cake ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Yeah I’ve been enjoying running without any pressure or anxiety or constantly checking my watch, it’s been great! I’m doing a half with some people from work in a few weeks so i’m just looking forward to that. And then I might do the london 10k summer series I did last year, maybe shave some time of my PB!

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  4. Be patient with yourself. You’re not out of the funk yet because it’s only been 10 days! In my experience, trying to rush the post-race blues only makes them worse. Just give it time. I know it’s uncomfortable, but we’ve all lived through it and so will you.

    Personally, I find it most helpful when I focus on a new challenge that is not running related, maybe not even fitness related. If you have any other hobbies/interests that have been on the back burner these past few months, now is the time to give them their chance in the spotlight. For example, for me, once the marathon is over I’ll be focusing more on my writing – blogging about new topics and maybe even starting that novel that’s been on my bucket list for ages! I also want to do more volunteering and hiking. Fitness is still important to me but after training and being in “competitive” mode all year, I need to switch to having fitness be more of a “for fun” thing.

    Best of luck!

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  5. First, you are entitled to a couple of weeks more rest and recuperation. Don’t worry about Budapest yet, you have marathon 1 under your belt so the training for Budapest will be less intense than for Manchester because you have a higher starting level. As for the slump, what about heading to the London marathon expo for a little retail therapy or at least a chance to look at lots of lovely running related stuff. I’m off there on Friday as a reward for doing my first marathon last Saturday!

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  6. As everyone else eluded to, this will pass! It hasn’t even been two weeks and really it takes 2-4 weeks for your body to fully recover anyway. My marathon was in late October so I had a lot going on afterward (between American Thanksgiving and Christmas!) that kept me from the post-race blues, but generally I break through them by taking the time to do whatever I didn’t have time to do during training. Reading a book, going out to eat, etc. Enjoy the downtime before training starts again!

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    1. Yeah thanks for this, I definitely needed to be reasoned with! I went back to (gentle) working out like 3 days after the marathon and in hindsight that was stupid and probably contributed to my exhaustion, even if it did lift my mood! I have a half marathon in a few weeks, I’m doing it with some colleagues from work and actually it’s my first half! So that’s exciting, and then I think I’ll focus on doing some fun races with friends ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Trust me I’d considered it! My ultimate goal has been ultra for a while, hence signing up for the marathon first. But with the amount of pain I got from my old piriformis injury, I don’t think ultra will be happening for a little while!

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  7. Your feelings are totally normal, especially after your first marathon when you invested so much of yourself in it. This is not the time to be making big decisions about what next. Enjoy the recovery (it’s as important as all the training you put in and you body will thank you for it) then think about what would make you happy in terms of a challenge. If you want to do it, you’ll make the commitment.

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