Race Done, Now What?

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Nothing is quite as exciting as training for a triathlon, especially if it is your first one.  You experience yourself becoming more fit and more toned each day.  You are losing fat and building muscle.  You are swimming, biking and running further and faster than you ever imagined you could.  You’ve met a whole new group of enthusiastic, athletic friends.  You have an energetic and supportive coach.  You are having the time of your life!

Race day comes, and you are both excited and nervous.  You’ve spent a long time building up to this moment, and now it is here.  As you go through the race, you are feeling strong, powerful, and well trained.  You have a great race, and are feeling invincible.  You are high for the next few days, proud of your accomplishment.  Your friends and family are proud of you too.

Suddenly it hits you-the race is over-now what?

You may start to feel low, letargic, listless.  life may feel as if it has gone from being in color to being in black and white.  You may feel a void, lonely, isolated.  You may miss your workouts and your training buddies.  Nothing seems fun or exciting.  You may have trouble eating or sleeping.  Life may seem empty.  It is normal to have a let down or post race depression, after a big event.

If this happens, what can you do about it?  Just knowing what it is and anticipating it can help.  It is important to have something else planned for after the race-possibly another race, event or different type of goal.  Reconnecting with friends, family, work or projects that were put aside during training can help.  Staying connected with your new triathlon friends after the race is also beneficial.  Better yet, why not make triathlon a lifestyle, an ongoing endeavor, not just an isolated event!

While some letdown or post race depression is normal, if the feeling persists, it might be advisable to contact a professional.

To reach Danielle Cane, M.F., MFT — 415.458.6885



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