It happens every year: I plan, train, and complete a big race or project and no matter how well it went, the next thing you know, I start over-analyzing the entire thing and actually feel a bit depressed. It’s predictable and very normal. And, a bit annoying. As the Aussies say, “No worries!” because I’ve figured out some great strategies to move through the post race “blues” that can be applied to any post event let down.
The first step is keep your post race analysis in perspective. Of course the race could have been better (NO race–even if you win–is perfect.). And, “woulda-coulda-shoulda” thinking is USELESS. It’s easy in hindsight to see where you might have improved. Instead, I think it’s really important to list out all of the positive things that you did really well over the course of the season and in the race and truly celebrate those things. Next, its time to objectively strategize, maybe with the help of a trusted coach or mentor, what can be realistically worked on for next time and make a plan with detailed objectives for making those improvements.
Finally, after all that, its time to spend a month or two doing other things away from training and racing. Training and racing can be all consuming and certainly exhausting. Off season is the time to do things that you didn’t have time or energy for during the season, like focusing on family and friends, volunteering or even pursuing a new skill. Time away can help remind you that there are so many things happening in the world beyond your sport which is a key aspect of balance and life satisfaction.