You have been working hard for the past 18 to 32 weeks and then race day approaches and goes. The miles, the workouts, and the planning are all part of a plan that gets you ready for the race and produces a purpose in your life and a plan for staying fit. It is an exciting time, but, after all, the preparation is over, often times the blues can set in.
After training for a long-distance event, post-marathon blues can occur as you complete one event and feel depressed and empty as you transition to not having a goal. This is caused by a depletion of choline, a precursor for mood-regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. It can cause low energy and depression in most runners.
An ultra-marathon, marathon, or half- marathon can cause a lot of damage to the system. Physical, emotional, and mental fatigue can set in. Statistics say that for up to 72 hours, or three days, you are more susceptible to illness such as colds and flu. Stress hormones during the last portion of the race, as well as interaction with multitudes of people before, during, and after the race can often make you sick. Air or even travel in a car can also make you more easily sick. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) can occur 24 to 72 hours after an event. DOMS is muscle damage caused by figure tear, glycogen depletion, muscle degeneration, and constant muscle contraction, causing pain. This soreness can last from two days to two weeks after an event. Blisters and foot problems can also occur as you change your stride or form during the race.
Accept the fact that you will feel down and be prepared. Understanding your feelings can help you be prepared for this. It is recommended that you find another goal and pursue it. Signing up for a smaller race a month or more away is a good idea. After the soreness has gone away, actively rest with less strenuous activities such as swimming, hatha yoga, biking, and light strength training.
As you watched your diet during training, continue to pay special attention to it as you focus on more fruits and vegetables, eating less processed food, and focusing on lean and plant proteins as you did in your training. Take this time to allow yourself to be pampered. Get a massage, take a relaxing bath with epson salts, have a manicure and pedicure, and buy a new non-running outfit.
Last and most importantly, take time off to spend time with your non-running friends and give the attention to your family that you had to sacrifice during your training. Try to pursue something that is non-running related and uses the time to focus on the neglected areas of your life.
Beating the Post-marathon Blues
Beat the Post-race Blues http://www.active.com/running-marathonmania/articles/beat-the-post-race-blues?
Depressed After a Marathon?
Recovering from Boston
Tips from the Post-race Blues
What to Do After You Finished a Marathon http://running.about.com/od/marathontrainingfaqs/a/What-To-Do-After-You-Finish-A-Marathon.htm
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