Congratulations, you did it! You are now a Runner of Steel. After experiencing the emotions of the finish line your life may never be the same — and that’s what’s awesome about it.
Every finish line is the beginning of something greater. Have you given thought to what that may be for you? What’s your next goal? What do you need to do to keep your marathon momentum going? Here are my top five suggestions for heading toward your next starting line:
- First things first: You have bragging rights, so cash in on them! You worked hard and should show off your medal and finish line photos to friends and family. All those people who helped you get to the finish line are proud of you. Thank them and share in your victory!
- Moving on: The first step in moving on is recovery. Recovery is very individualized based upon the race you ran. You will definitely need to take some time off from running: your recovery period may last a few days up to two weeks. It depends on the length and distance of your race. General guidelines include light activity like walking and cross-training combined with stretching and self-massage.
- Set a new goal: Decide if you have your sights set on another race or if you need a break. The answer may not be clear right away, and that’s okay. Take some time to decide if you want to improve speed, increase distance, or just have fun. I love switching up my race lengths after a big race because it gives me a new challenge.
- Try something new: If you are feeling burnt out, now may be a good time to try something new. There are all kinds of fun events like mud runs, obstacle events, and even bike races you can check out. If you think that racing is off the table for a while, try a new fitness class or sport.
- Share your plans: I always suggest that once you have made a decision, tell some of your closest friends and family members your new goals. They definitely want to support you and help you continue your journey — let them. Sharing your plans also holds you accountable; you know they will be asking.
Lastly and most importantly: Remember why you ran in the first place. You may have raised money for a charity, trained with a family member, or ran just for the heck of it. Those are all good reasons — remind yourself of them!
Anyone can be a runner and I truly believe it’s a lifelong sport. Our bodies were meant to move, so keep on moving toward your next goal —whatever it is!