|Photo courtesy of a Google search|
But alas, PRRD.
PRRD is a made up acronym but it's REAL! Not like #thestruggleisreal ha ha kinda real, but legitimately REAL!...
Post Race Recovery Depression
You have been training for months. Alllllll the stress and anticipation leading up to the race. Hours upon hours, mile after mile, dozens of Gu's and water bottles, and tri shorts hanging all over your laundry room. You raced. OHHHH how amazing it was! OHHHH the sense of accomplishment and pride you felt! You wanted it to last forever. You wanted to freeze time and bottle it up and save it for a daily celebration. You crossed the finish line.
But now it's done. Your high is wearing off. Your body is recovering. You're catching up on Facebook and work and family and friends. You're training is minimal. And you might even have picked up a few pounds. "Normal" life is seeping back in...
And although you've replayed your race a dozen times in your head, evaluated your strengths and weaknesses and decided what to do differently next time... something is missing. All this extra time is just sitting there. No one wants to hear about every minute of your race anymore. And you might be feeling bored. Lonely. Lost even. DEpressed.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
What has happened is, your whole life revolved around your big event. Your daily training, what you eat, when you sleep, weekend plans, even what you wear! It's a physical, mental, and emotional investment. So when that's over, we experience a loss. The quicker you can grasp that this is normal though, the quicker you can get through it. But wait there's more! There are actually ways to beat these blues before they even start...
~Make recovery part of your plan. This way, it's not over when you cross the finish line. Ask your coach to schedule you an extra week or more out so you can do some light active recovery. Sticking to a routine will be a lot easier than going cold turkey (so to speak). Go get that massage! Go get that pedicure ~we both know you need one! Recovery can even be a weekend getaway.
And don't get down if your light activity is tough. Your legs will feel heavy. Your back achy. You are drained. Take your time. Rest.
~Talk with other triathletes. Do we ever get tired of sharing our race details!? Heck to the NO. I love hearing race adventures; over and over! Race reports are my FAVE! Write yours! Share it with me! So head to lunch with a tri buddy or pop in your local tri shop (ahem...RNT) and brag away! We can be each others therapists!!
~Have another race or event in mind <--- you don't have to plan out your whole next season, just have something in the horizon to look forward to. I'm a little extreme with this since I have to sign up a year in advance for my big events; I ALWAYS have a "next" scheduled. A next doesn't have to be an A race a "just for fun" race, a group race, or taking on sherpa duty for a friend works too! Have you ever been sherpa for a race?! It is SO fun! Your next doesn't even have to be a race! Maybe your next is "spend extra time with family" or "take up knitting" <--- totally a plug for Christina ;) Check out that CrossFit box that everyone was raving about in the midst of your tri training... kickboxing? Spinning? Explore something new; TRI something different!
Strength training and core work is a GREAT in betweener that will keep you healthy and strong!
Having something to look forward to will keep you excited, on your game, and hopes high for your athletic future.
Most importantly, above all that ^, REST after your big event. It's OKAY to REST. You deserve it. You NEED it. Let your body rest and recover. You trained long and hard. You raced strong. REST. Feeling a little low is perfectly normal and perfectly okay.