It’s the week before race day.
As you fall asleep each night, you’re thinking about your race. Your swim. Your sprint to transition. Your bike, your T2, and your run. Your finish.
You wake up on race day, ready to go.
And then its over.
Growing up swimming, I experienced post-meet ‘let down’ quite often. Turns out, this isn’t a phenomenon invented by my mom to explain why I was such a brat after big days – it’s an actual thing. Most articles out there discuss ‘let-down’ as an effect after a long term training and racing period – such as post Ironman. I’d like to discuss the immediate post-race let-down.
I had forgotten about this phenomena until this week. I certainly can’t blame the almost depression-like feelings on a poor performance – in fact, this past weekend saw some of my best paces in any endurance event. But, Monday, Tuesday, and even Wednesday, I was exhausted; I had no drive; I was disinterested in every activity. So what happened? From personal experience, the build up, the taper, and the effort exerted in the race(s) creates an emotional high, and the following days induce lows in stark contrast.
How do we deal with this process, especially in a short, multi-race season? I will be searching for solutions this summer and in seasons to come, so I don’t have an answer to claim as the be-all, end-all. While it has taken me almost a week to recover from last weekend, I’m starting to feel more like myself. I felt incredibly hungry immediately following the race, so one issue may have been that I didn’t fuel properly. I tried to make up for that by eating back a bunch of calories, but then I realized that may have thrown me into a funk by exhausting me with digestion (aka, food coma).
Like everything in life, I’ll be looking for balance. How do you deal with the post-race process? Any suggestions?