Staying Motivated After a Race

One of my biggest challenges after completing a race is staying motivated—keeping the momentum of the post-run high going and continuing to consistently push myself. After running a full marathon in 2011, it took me weeks to want to do more than a brisk walk across the office. And now after Sunday’s race, I’m finding myself not looking forward to getting my butt to the gym again.

But I refuse to let this valley to my peak get the best of me. As with most training times, I’ve lost some muscle mass and want to tighten up again. So instead of giving in to my couch and my DVR’d Real Housewives, I’m planning to do the following:

Try something new.
For some reason, it’s hard for me to try a new workout. I always get nervous before I walk into a new yoga studio or go to a class I haven’t gone to before. I think it’s mainly the fear of making a fool out of myself. But hey, if I had never mustered up the courage to take a stab at running … well, let’s just say my life would be very different.

So when my friend asked me to try a barre workout, I knew I had to say yes. There are studios all across the country, but I’m going to my local Pure Barre next week. I hear it’s a great workout and a different, fun way to build strength. And at the very least, it will be a nice change of pace. I’ll let you know how it goes!


Set mini goals.
It’s hard to feel a sense of accomplishment again after doing something physically extreme, such as running big race. And I think that’s part of what makes me less motivated to continue working out—if I’m not working toward another more challenging goal, then what’s the point?

That’s why I’m focusing on setting smaller goals—instead of signing up for another half marathon, I’m going to run a 5K or 10K and work on my speed. It’s a mental hurdle to run long distance, but knocking off a few minutes from my best 5K time will be a different type of challenge. It will be less time consuming than my Saturday morning runs and will give that part of my brain a rest. I always check Hermes for the latest and most fun Cleveland runs. I think the Reindeer Run is calling my name this year.

Get some new gear.
Let’s face it—sometimes getting a new workout outfit or a pair of shoes can give a girl a whole new perspective on life. I like to experiment with my shoes and try something different every once in a while to see if I happen to like a different brand or type of shoe more than my usual.

This time, I’m trying Newtons. My running buddy has ran in these for the past few months and loves them. A few steps up from a minimalist shoe, they are designed to assist you in quickening your pace while staying comfortable. I’m excited, because they come in such fun colors! They’ll add a punch to my usual neutral workout clothes.


After a big accomplishment, it’s important to allow your body some rest, but it’s also a time to harness the energy that comes with completing a race and charging forward to your next challenge. I don’t want to lose my motivation, because we all know it’s harder to start back up than it is to keep going. So today, I’m back at it—sore muscles and all.

How do you stay motivated after a race?     


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