How to fight the feeling of empty after a big race

19 Apr, 2019 • by Admin

No matter how your big race went, feeling a little empty after it's finally over is normal

I think my life will naturally tell me when my priorities will shift, and maybe goals will be further apart. I’m not too worried about it, but I think I will come out of a bubble and be like, ‘I was really focused back then.’ And I think my wife will be like, ‘Yeah. No shit.

Accept That All Good Things Come to an End

During taper week, as much as the anticipation is starting to build, the sadness starts to creep in. I have a good network of guys in Portland who I meet up with for runs, and there’s a sadness about seeing the end of that routine—of being invested with a group of friends toward a common goal. When it starts to draw to a close, you’re always like, well, this feels kind of weird, and you’re sad that it’s almost over.

Prepare to Feel Like You’ve Spent All Your Fitness at Once

I know I ran 2:28 last week, but it took so much out of my body that I don’t feel like I could do it again. I was posting runs on Strava leading up to the race where I felt like my legs were fresh as hell, and I had a monster stride. And I took that and just destroyed it. It took me a long time to get to where I was, and I now I’ve gotten it all out of my system. My legs are very sore, and suddenly all the cues about how ready I am to run, cues that I’ve been obsessing about for months, are telling me I am not ready at all because I’ve pushed it all out of my body.

Expect Your Days to Feel a Little Less Meaningful Without Running

In my case, I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve run quite well and hit my goals. So it feels weird to have any element of sadness, but after a race, there’s always a feeling of, ‘Well, what am I going to do this upcoming weekend?’ You’re supposed to focus on all the other i.e., non-running things. I went wine tasting last weekend with my in-laws and had no concerns about getting a run in. It was wonderful, but the hard thing is that’s just not how I’ve set up my weeks and months. I’m not sponsored, so this isn’t my life. And yet it’s my entire life, outside my family and friends. I like to say that marathons are meaningless, but they mean everything.

Remember That Post-Race Glory Is Fleeting

You achieve a goal that for a long time you didn’t even think was possible, and then, immediately, people start to ask, ‘What’s next?’ I was literally in the recovery chute at Boston, and my dad’s on the phone saying he thinks I could do something really special in a flat marathon this fall. And I’m just, like, ‘Dad! Too soon.’

Enjoy Each Race as If It Were Your Last

Boston was my only real race goal from last year to this year. When you start to have only one big goal in a year, it starts to feel like a long time to stretch, and you realize you don’t have that many years left to do it. Very few people ever experience the downtick of getting slower as you age because they throw in the towel and just attribute their lack of fitness to lack of training.


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