Post-race Depression – How to Recover After a Massive Sporting Achievement


There are literally hundreds of books, podcasts and training programs to guide you to your next massive goal, whatever it is you want to achieve.
Do you want to run a marathon? There you go, your six months running program. 


Do you want to be Ironman Finisher? No problem, get this book and follow the training, step by step. 

How about cycling from the UK to China? Someone has done it before; there is his vlog, have a look.
All those resources have one thing in common; they will get you to your pinnacle and then will leave you there, bathing in the finisher glory.
But the first excitement of finishing the task will fade very soon. And then what? You have spent most of the last year dreaming, planning, training, preparing for this one day. Now it is over, you have done it, and you don’t know what to do.
You have achieved your hights; the only way now is down. Get ready for a fumble; it is not going to be much fun.
It happened to me after every significant achievement.
After finishing my first Ironman, the excitement and happiness lasted one week. I was revisiting photos and videos, writing a race report. People gratulated me, wanted to find out how do I feel and what I plan next. I was a bright star of our little inner circle, and then everyone’s attention has focused somewhere else.
And then I was left alone.
Tired. Physically and mentally drained.
My body was exhausted, and morale was very low. All I wanted is to eat and sleep. I couldn’t get back to the training; I was too tired. Without the training, though, I have lost part of my identity. For the last year, the training was an integral part of my day, everything circled around my swim, bike, run.
My mood was low. I couldn’t find anything positive about my day. I was sad. Looking back, I was depressed.
It lasted for a couple of months.
Now, after a few years of racing, I know I could speed up the recovery process.
First of all, just allowed yourself to be tired. You have done a great job pushing your body and mind to its limits, time to slow down, recover. You are an Ironman now, but even Man of Steel needs ”me time”.
Make sure you spend a lot of time in nature. Try open water swimming! (this has tremendously help Joanna after her last year Ironman Blues).

Eat well. You should always eat well, but it is extra important after the major sporting event. You have to rebuild your body with the best ingredients possible. Focus on the good source, quality foods. Skip the cake and icecreams; it will make you feel better only for 5 min. Instead, eat fruit. Don’t overdo alcohol; it will mask your tiredness and slow down the recovery process.

And start planning next year adventure! Nothing puts you back on your feet like another goal in the horizon 🙂


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