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By Coach Monique Ralph
Given that T:Zero Multisport has recently had a massive number of athletes completing serious distances and races, I felt it timely to look at the phenomenon known as ‘post race blues’ and examine why we feel this way and discuss some strategies to quickly overcome the blues and get back your mojo!
We all know the feeling, we finish a race, celebrate the massive achievement of reaching the goal and then a few days later you are tired, sore, hungry and you get hit with a dose of blues. The high of the past few days fades and is replaced with a low. Generally this occurs because the intensity and duration of the preparation for the race hits us, the magnitude of what we have achieved sinks in and we start to realise the depth of fatigue from the training blocks and the race itself that we are feeling!
Some people think the blues are rubbish, but there is some science to back this up and if you think about the research it makes sense. Researchers suggest that the emotions we feel post race closely resemble loss. “There is a loss of the physiological and chemical high we get from training, and there is a loss of power and energy as we are physically and emotionally depleted”. The other big reason for the low is that you have completed the goal that has consumed your mind, time and world for the past several months. You, and perhaps your friends and family have made massive sacrifices to get the training done and focus on the single goal of finishing the race. Sometimes when the goal is achieved we think we will be happy, don’t get me wrong there is the elation of achieving the goal. However, it is suggested that it is actually the process that is far more fun than the goal itself! Therefore, it is feasible to suggest that there a multiple layers of ‘loss’ post race.
Typically we don’t spiral into the depth of despair post race, rather we often times ponder what is next, what to do with all the free time we are experiencing and perhaps question your ‘why’. This is an excellent time to do what you have been putting off with the classic ‘after the race’ line and check off the task list. This is a time to reconnect with family and friends and maybe enjoy some varied light training like hiking, paddling, surfing, social rides or whatever it is you do when you are not being an awesome T:Zero athlete.
So where to from here you ask? Well here are some tips and strategies to get you back training with a new goal and a fresh mind.
Enjoy your recovery and train smart!