Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What happens after the big race...

So, you've spent all this time preparing to run your first 5km or 10km or half marathon or marathon or whatever, and then you completed your race. It felt good. The cheering family and friends. Conquering the self doubt. Telling all the naysayers about how great it felt to cross the finish line. Realizing that you actually accomplished what you set out to do. Knowing that all the training runs you put in ahead of time were worth it because you reached the end. You got your medal, you got your time, you got your tshirt. But now that the race is over, what do you do?

One of the most common feelings is a bit of sadness. Once the goal is achieved and life can return to normal, you miss the training. You miss having something to work towards and this can manifest itself by causing you to feel a bit blue. It's very common so do not fear. Rather, pick a new goal. It doesn't have to be as huge as the first goal, but you should pick something. Usually it's another race. It could be a different distance, either shorter or longer than what you just achieved. Maybe you want to improve your time in a certain distance. Maybe you want to do a run in a cool place. Maybe you want to try a new sport. It doesn't really matter what you do, but it's important that you find something else to work on so that you don't fall off the exercise bandwagon all together.

It's easy to think you'll keep on exercising just because you can and because it's what you've been doing. The truth however, seems to be, that without a goal to work towards, it can be so much easier to just skip a workout. After all, it's not like you have a goal you need to reach, right? By signing up for another race, you are more likely to continue on with your workouts and put meaning into them.

So, after the big race. Celebrate your accomplishment. Show off your new bling. Take a few rest days to recover. And then, find something else to set your sights on... you'll be glad you did!!

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