First of all, congratulations on partaking in one of the biggest fundraising events on the planet. The London Marathon raises approximately £660 million for charity each year, and it is a truly momentous achievement to complete a marathon. You are probably still incredibly stiff, and may well be walking around looking somewhat like a penguin with sore feet! Treat this as a final reminder of what you have achieved. You have achieved something awesome and at Be A Better You we all doff our metaphorical caps to your will power. Without spoiling the mood, it would be a shame to let all the work over the last few months go to waste. No doubt you may have been asked the question a few times in the last day or so; so what next? This new found fitness should be capitalised on……something that very few first time marathon runners do. I have added a few tips below to make sure that you don’t fall into an all too easy trap of eating too much and returning to your previous state of being slightly squidgy!
Enjoy yourself. This might seem like a contradiction, but you should allow yourself some time off. This is not only to let your body recover but also so that you can enjoy some of the things that you might have forsaken in the run up to the marathon. However, you should be conscious of letting this enjoyment period stretch into months of inactivity. Set a date next week when you go for a relaxed 6 mile run – for once you might be able to enjoy a run instead of pushing yourself to the limits of exhaustion. Relaxation is key, but it is all too easy to stay in this zone for far too long.
Months of laborious training have now climaxed in a spectacular day of painful sightseeing around London. Once the feeling of exultation subsides you suddenly find yourself with less routine, no long term fitness goals and rapidly waning motivation. This is often referred to as the post-race blues; a period where you are unsure about what to do next. One of the best cures is to enter another event. It may sound a little eager but you may have found out during your training that momentum is a powerful thing. Find another race to enter; it doesn’t have to be as hard as the marathon, or even an endurance event, just find something that you would enjoy doing. This gives you something to aim for rather than wallowing in the inevitable post race blues wondering how deep the rabbit hole goes. People often complain about the solitary nature of marathon training – so why not enter a team competition? The point is that being proactive about setting new goals and moving past what you have achieved is the best cure. It doesn’t matter if it is a fun run with friends, or an ultramarathon….as long as you have something else to look forward to.
Remember that nobody is forcing you to do this, it is a conscious choice. Sport is supposed to be fun – so enjoy yourself!