Marathons offer an incredible experience. There’s the euphoric sensation of crossing that 26.2-mile finish line. Along with the shiny medal celebrating your accomplishment, however, come the less glamorous rewards: sore legs, blisters, and perhaps even a missing toenail. That’s not all – you might also encounter the post-marathon blues.

No, you are not just being dramatic. It’s common to feel a bit down after completing a marathon. 

After spending months training and planning, talking to everyone about your running journey, it can be hard to adjust to a life without the routine and discipline that comes with marathon training. 

Marathon training had become more than just a series of workouts; it had become your lifestyle, the last few months have revolved around that marathon finish line. Now the race is over, you’re no longer confined by lycra or early bedtimesand you feel a bit lost.

The post-marathon blues do pass, and they are manageable – here are a few tips to overcome those pesky post-marathon blues:

  • Acknowledge Your Feelings: First and foremost, recognise that what you’re experiencing is valid. Suddenly you find yourself with no need to get up and runNo obvious goal. Time on your hands. Allow yourself to experience all emotions, whether sadness, frustration or just not quite yourself.
  • Set New Goals: Just because one race is over doesn’t mean your journey as a runner has to come to an end. Rest, recover and then channel your energy into a new goal, whether signing up for another race, improving your speed or exploring different fitness activities. Clear objectives can provide a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Maintain a Routine: I usually take a week off and then slowly reintroduce exercise to my routine, just gentle recovery runs or cross-training sessions. A routine can help provide structure during this transitional period. Runna does a great ‘post marathon plan’ that can help keep you motivated.
  • Practice Self-Care: Take time to nurture your physical and mental well-being. Treat yourself to restorative activities like yoga, meditation, or massage. Prioritise healthy eating habits and ensure you’re getting adequate sleep. 
  • Reflect and Celebrate: After an event, we review how it went and how satisfied we feel. If it didn’t go well, we might feel despondent and have some regrets. Acknowledge the hard work and dedication that went into training for and completing the race and express gratitude for the experiences and lessons learned.

Though things may seem a little strange right now there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.