[00:00] So, you just got done with your race, your air race, the thing you’ve been training for for a while, or maybe you’re here looking for answers, you’ve been injured or you’ve just taken time off and you just don’t feel right, you feel depressed, you feel sad, you’re not really sure how to cope with this time after, this time after running, or in between running when you’re not doing the thing that you love. Well, I’m Jesse Funk and on today’s episode of Runners High we’re going to talk about how to deal with post-race blues.

[00:39] If you haven’t been with me here in this channel before, you may not know, but I actually interview experts where we talk about these kinds of things pretty frequently, because the mind is something that’s important to me and to us as runners. I do have an interest in it as my undergrad was in psychology, but that doesn’t necessarily make me qualified to give you counseling advice.

But I do talk to people who know more about it in terms of athletes, in terms of academics, all those kinds of things, anybody from Matt Fitzgerald, who I interviewed in a much earlier interview on the Smart Athlete Podcast, with his book here behind me, Life’s a Marathon. Or if we’re talking about David and Mae Roche and their book The Happy Runner, or most recently my guest Brian [inaudible]. We talk a lot about mindfulness and the things that you need to think about with your mind to take care of yourself.

[01:34] All these things kind of come into play, so if you want interviews with experts, people besides me to give you advice, subscribe to the channel, hit that subscribe button. But let’s get onto our talk today, how to deal with post-race blues. A lot of these things— I want to talk about come into play with those interviews, which is why I mentioned them.

And the first thing really is do something else. You have a lot of time to yourself now, right? You spent all this time training, all this time running, and now there’s this big void, you have this big open space. What do I do? You know, a lot of us maybe experienced this when COVID started and everybody was staying at home and there was all this space now, you know, our routine has changed, there’s all this empty downtime we don’t normally have and we’re not sure what to do with ourselves, we get jittery, you know, we feel depressed, we feel sad and we’re not sure what to do.

[02:28] So, the best thing you can do is do something else. Use this as an opportunity to do something you’ve been meaning to do for a long time. Those things in the back of your mind you’re saying, “if I had time one day I would do this. I would eventually do this thing if I had time.” I personally used this time to start writing music.

It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for probably, I have to think about it, this is going to date me here, 12, 13 years. I started college as a music composition major, I switched because I didn’t think it was practical and never got around to actually writing music. And I finally use this downtime this year, my kind of post-race blues session to dig into that because I finally had time to myself.

[03:16] So, whatever that thing is that you’ve been meaning to do, whether it’s work on a house project or, you know, take a painting, start photography, whatever it is, YouTube channel, you want to join me here on YouTube? Do that. That helps keep your mind occupied. And at least for me personally having something to do, feeling productive kind of elevates my mood. So, it will help bring that sense of calm, hopefully, by doing something being productive, when normally you’d be filling that space with running.

As I mentioned earlier, though, in my most recent conversation in the Smart Athlete Podcast with coach Brian [inaudible] we talk a lot about mindfulness, and one of the things that he makes mandatory, he and his wife made mandatory for their athletes is meditation. And the purpose of this meditation for their athletes is to have an awareness of what’s going on with your body and your mind.

So, when I say be mindful, it’s that kind of thing. Having the awareness to know, “Hey, I’m feeling a little off.” “Hey, you know, maybe this doesn’t feel right.” “Hey, I am actually feeling good.” Whatever it is, you need to be mindful of the situation.

[04:35] This happened to me a long time ago back on episode four of the Smart Athlete Podcast, I was interviewing Dr. Jason [inaudible] and I asked him, what do you do in this time? Time after, you got done with the racing, you have this period off, you’re not running and you don’t feel well.

And he said, just being aware that it’s going to happen, that it is a thing helps him mitigate those feelings, and he doesn’t really feel so depressed because he knows that it’s a thing, he’s mindful of the situation.

So, he didn’t even approach it from a meditation standpoint like Brian does. Simply a more analytical standpoint knowing, “Hey, I don’t feel real great after this time.” or “This is a very common thing, so if I’m mindful of it, it’s not going to affect me nearly as much.”

I know me personally, throughout the years, typically it’s the second week off for me that I feel a little more down, but being mindful of it and keeping myself busy are things that helped me know that I’m going to be okay, and eventually I come back around to a time where I feel good and more ready to get back to running.

[05:48] So, whatever the reason is that you have to take the time off, whether it’s post-race injuries or simply scheduled time between seasons, being mindful, keeping yourself busy, getting those activities that you’ve always been meaning to do are all great ways to deal with those post-race blues. I’ll see you next time. On the next episode of Runner’s High.