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Mental Health Tips After A Marathon

Mental Health Tips After A Marathon

by Rebecca Pudvah PT, DPT, CSCS, OCSLeave a Comment

Congratulations! You did it! 26.2 is a long way, particularly on foot. Take some time to embrace your journey, your success, and the obstacles you overcame. Take a look below for the top 3 tips of how to embrace your mental health after running a marathon and avoid the post-marathon blues.

1. Avoid The “What’s Next” Trap

You have just devoted hours of training, laundry, and possibly physical therapy to your dream goal of running 26.2 miles. At the finish line you find yourself feeling a bit empty without the proverbial “carrot on a stick” laying ahead of you. There isn’t always going to be a “bigger” and “better” goal event, but this doesn’t mean your training is invalid and your efforts are wasted. A big part of running is enjoying the journey, and this holds true whether you have a marathon, 5k, or are even chasing your little ones around the house. Keep your head up and enjoy each session.

2. Don’t Skimp On Recovery

No one lives on top of Mount Everest. Or, in the running world, it is impossible to be the most fit version of yourself at all times. You have spent weeks and months to get to this optimal level, and you will also have to take days and weeks to recover just the same. Ignoring this advice will lead to pain, injury, and burnout. Take the proper time to rest and recover, so you can climb higher next time.

3. Don’t Let The Finish Line Be The End Of Your Fitness Journey

Once you have the medal around your neck and the “free” banana in your hand, it is easy to consider yourself all done with the sport. However, just because you met your goal, doesn’t mean you have to end it there. You have gotten into a successful exercise routine and great physical fitness. You can now use this to transition to participate in pick-up sports, hiking, swimming, or even dancing. By setting a new goal or focus, your motivation will return and your physical and mental health will remain on track.

Only about 0.17% of the population have completed the marathon distance. This is a huge achievement and should be celebrated in a safe and healthy way. Here at Athletico, we are proud of you, and hope that both your physical and mental health remain your priority. If you need us, we will be here waiting! If you’re experiencing lingering aches, pain, or soreness after your race, connect with our team for a free assessment. Free assessments are available in-person and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Rebecca Pudvah is a triathlete and physical therapist who loves helping others achieve their fitness goals. Rebecca graduated from Simmons College in Boston, MA, with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. For her undergraduate studies, she attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology while competing in Division 1 Cross Country and Track and Field. Rebecca loves sharing her knowledge and personal experiences to help those in need through challenging and painful times. She is passionate about guiding her patients toward a healthy, active, and pain-free human experience.

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