Congratulations…you made it! You’ve crossed the finish line, grabbed your share of the oranges on offer and your finisher’s medal. This is what you’ve been training for; a feeling of complete satisfaction and exhilaration, knowing you’ve trained hard and hit your goal. All that’s left to do is high five your support crew, kick back and bask in the sunshine…right?
In the excitement that is post-race bliss, it’s easy to forget that we’ve just pushed ourselves to the max and that our bodies need a little TLC. Follow these easy steps to wake up feeling fab this week and avoid those nasty post-race blues.
Rehydrate, but don’t guzzle. If you’ve been training hard, you’ll mostly likely have pushed yourself to the upper limits of your physical capacity. Rehydration is king now; ensure you’re taking in fluid regularly during the day with a combination of water and electrolytes.
Keep your legs moving. If you’ve run a hard your race, chances are you’re keen for a ton of R&R this week. While this is definitely not the time to start ramping your mileage back up, it’s important for your recovery to keep moving. Try an easy walk the day after race-day followed by some light jogging in the next couple of days to work out that stiffness.
Stretch. Make time this week for some deep stretching. If this was your first race, you’re probably hurting in places you didn’t know you had muscles! Take care to make sure you’re warmed up before getting into it though; stretching cold muscles can result in a painful strain or tear.
Celebrate your achievement. You’ve worked hard for this! Don’t be shy in telling people about the hard work you’ve put in to achieving your goal and invite them to celebrate with you. Who knows? You might even pick up a training buddy for next year’s event.
Plan your next challenge. Coming down off a post-race high can be tough, with our minds inevitably turning to thoughts of “now what?”. If you loved the Great Ocean Road Running Festival experience, start planning for your next event, and be sure to pick another fabulous location; for instance, the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival on 14 October provides an amazing opportunity to experience the city from a whole new perspective.
Taking care of yourself over the next few days provides a strong foundation for your next training program; you’ll be off in no time with a healthy body and a positive and motivated mindset.
Editorial by Rebecca Walker