It’s pretty easy to get into a bit of a funk after completing a big race that you’ve trained long and hard to prepare. Having just finished the St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon it’s happened to me just a little bit. The funk could be worse but here’s what I’m doing to keep things fresh:
Slow Down & Recover
The week after Nashville I made it a point to slow down my pace, distance and total miles. Cutting back your weekly miles to 30 or 40 percent of your pre-race peak is a good place to start. For the first three days after the half marathon I used my foam roller to help loosen tight muscles in my legs. If you don’t have a foam roller, I recommend getting one. You’ll quickly find it hurts so good.
If you want, take a week or two off from running. Maybe do some walking or bike riding instead. A few week off won’t hurt you and you may surprise yourself and come back even stronger.
Run with a Friend or in a Group
I usually run by myself but after Nashville I spent a few days at my daughter’s house so this gave me the opportunity to run with her for a change.
Of course, if you normally run with a group you might want to consider running alone for a change.
Find a Change in Scenery
I’m always looking for new routes to run. I spent the week after Nashville traveling to visit family so this gave me lots of opportunities to run in new places. In the photo above with my daughter we’re running in Southern Indiana where it’s relatively flat but seems to have more wind than I usually deal with in Georgia.
Later in the same week I traveled to the horse farm country of Versailles, Kentucky which is between Lexington and Frankfort. What a beautiful location to run!
Since it was Kentucky Derby weekend it even seemed more appropriate to run in the rolling hills of Kentucky. I didn’t see many horses for some reason though. Maybe most of them were in barns while the owners were off to Churchill Downs for the big race?
Sidebar: If you never been you may be surprised to see horses living in barns nicer than most of our own homes.
Sign Up for Another Race
Actually, I did this before the half marathon in Nashville. I signed up for the Peachtree Road Race (10K) in Atlanta on July the 4th. Since the race in Nashville I’ve signed up for two other races. A 5K in my local area on Memorial Day weekend and the OneAmerica Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, IN in May of 2017. Yes, that is way out there and doesn’t really count but I wanted to mention it.
Change Up Your Training Plan
I sorta touched on this. If you’ve been training for a certain distance now would be a good time to find a different distance for training. This is why I picked the 5K and 10K for my next races.
You might want to consider adding hill work or fartlek training if this is something you seldom do.
Ditch the Training Plan
With a 5K and 10K race on my schedule within the next two months this really isn’t an option for me right now but it could be for you. After the 10K in July, I do plan to ditch the training plan for at least a month. I’ll still go out and run 3-4 times a weeks but without any sort of goal other than to run how I feel at the moment. Most, if not all of this time will be low mileage and slow so I can give my body and legs a break.
Rid Yourself of Electronic Devices
Ok, I’ll admit it. This is something I don’t practice. I’m a techie by occupation and it’s just part of my DNA anymore. I do see the benefit in it even though I don’t really practice it. Frequently though, I will start my run tracker on my Fitbit and not look at it until I finish. Not quite giving up the electronics but close. Also, I rarely run without ear buds and music. I’m an avid music fan and I’ve just gotta have it. Yep, I’m addicted to my electronics but it doesn’t mean you have to be hooked on them.
Falling into a slump or a funk, whatever you want to call it happens. It’s normal and in time will happen to anyone who runs for a couple of years or more. When it happens to you, give some of my ideas a try and I think you’ll find your way out in short time. Good luck, and stay it.