So you’ve run your first race. It was amazing – you finished, you had fun, and you achieved a goal. Now what? For many runners, there is a post-race lull. This is a normal part of the racing season and post-race lulls are great times to rest, recover, and reevaluate goals. Here are my suggestions to keep a lull from becoming a rut:
- Register for another race. Nothing motivates me to stick to my training like having another race on my schedule. I love to schedule new races just after finishing - a new race always seems like a good idea when I’m still crazy from the joy of finishing.
- Stay in touch with running friends. It’s likely that you’ve made or reinvigorated running friendships during training. Keep those friendships up and schedule group runs. Knowing someone is waiting for you outside in the cold at the crack of dawn is highly motivating.
- Mix it up. The time period after a race is a great time to try something new – a new distance, a new running group, or a new trail. Keep running fresh and fun.
- Cross train. Once you’re out of an active training cycle, it can be good to revisit other activities for a while. Not only will you be ready to return to running after some time off, you might learn how much you love something other than running.
- Hire a coach. Need to stay accountable after the end of a group training program or heavy training season? Pick a new goal and hire a coach to help you achieve it. See my post on working with a coach for more.
No matter what you do, stick with running. Find the joy in running and it will repay you with fitness, friends, and lots of fun memories.