Skip to content
The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Post Marathon Blues

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Post Marathon Blues

Post-marathon blues is a lot more common than you might think.

After months of following a structured plan, being told what to do every day and then dealing with the emotional high (or low!) of race day, its not surprising that many people feel a little lost and demotivated the week after the marathon when the memories of your performance start to fade and you realize that life, and running goes on.

Take it easy for a week or two while your body recovers and just go for the odd relaxed run when you fancy it. Now is the time to leave that GPS watch at home and not worry about your pace or distance. Enjoy the freedom of just running for fun while knowing that you are still maintaining a decent level of fitness. While you have the extra time on your hands you could also do some volunteering at races or parkruns, nothing helps the motivation more than seeing others enjoy their running while also getting the satisfaction of  “doing your bit”.

Unless your race went so well that you are absolutely desperate to start a new marathon plan then now is an ideal time to explore other aspects of the running world and find yourself some new goals.

Options after a marathon

So having just “cashed in” all of those weeks of marathon training on your one big day you’re probably thinking, what do I do now!?

Well the good news is that if you’re sensible about your recovery from the race then all that training you did can be put to good use in your future running adventures. You will have built a great aerobic base in the marathon campaign and as long as you don’t follow that up with six months on the sofa eating pizza it will still be there for you to build on when you start training again.

A couple of weeks of either no running or just a few light jogs is the perfect amount of time to allow your muscles to recover but not long enough for you to lose too much of your aerobic base. If you are really desperate to maintain as much fitness as possible then you can add in some low impact relaxed exercise into your routine like swimming or low intensity bike rides. It’s also a great idea to include some core work during this period to ensure when you start back up you are not at risk of injury.

So the big question is what to do next. The obvious step is to target some shorter races during the summer to work on your speed and as you already have a good aerobic base this means you can focus your training on doing a couple of short, sharp interval sessions each week working at high intensity levels; adding the icing on the cake that you spent all winter baking!

If you are a little nervous about some of the shorter stuff then working on your parkrun PB is a stress free way to work on your 5K speed but I would highly recommend getting involved in some 5000m/3000m track races if you can as it really is an exciting variation to all that long road running.

The real bonus is that when you decide it’s a good idea to embark on that next marathon training schedule either in the autumn or next spring, the combined effect of already having one marathon build up in your system along with all that new found speed will put you in great stead to smash that marathon PB when you decide it’s time to give it another go!

Post Marathon Speed Session

10min / 8 x 2min

With a 3min recovery jog after the 10min of tempo (roughly at your 1hr race effort) you then follow this up with 8 lots of 2min efforts with 2min recovery jogs. The fact that the recoveries are the same length of time as the intervals means you can really afford to get your effort levels up high (at least 5K race effort), hopefully the 10min tempo will have warmed up those marathon legs enough that it isn’t too much of a shock to the system.

Tip of the Month

Don’t panic if you get the post marathon blues

Weeks and weeks of training followed by one single emotionally and physically draining day; it’s not surprising that it is quite often followed by a bit of the “post marathon blues”. Just allow yourself time while you recover both mentally and physically before worrying where your running mojo and love for the sport has gone. It won’t be long before it returns in full force I promise!

Previous article The Role of Carbohydrates in Rugby Performance
Create your nutrition list
To start, click the button. Follow the prompts, and create your nutrition list.

It’s your choice - with our knowledge.