Hope you’re having a good week! I’ve been taking some time over the last week and a half to figure out my new training and life schedule now that the all-consuming marathon training is over. If you’ve trained for and run a race before or worked towards any long-term goal, you might be familiar with the “post-marathon blues”, which is the feeling that can set in after you’ve accomplished a goal you’ve worked towards, come down from the high, and wondered, “now what?”
I’ve definitely experienced the blues before, and I found that the best way to deal with them is to consciously plan out what I’m doing next and set new goals for myself. It also helps me to consciously change my focus from long distance running to other stuff for a short time so that I don’t burn out and am ready to train for another marathon when January rolls around. It call it “rebalancing” :) Here’s how I’m changing my focus for the next few months.
I’m taking my running down to three days a week so that I don’t burn-out from running year round. I’m someone who loves variety, so I take the time between training cycles to get lots of fun cross-training activities in! Running-wise, I’ll keep Saturday as a “long run” day (although I don’t think I’ll be doing any 20 milers soon), but the other two days I’d like to focus on speedwork and hills to get a little faster and set some new short distance PRs!
My diet was very carb-heavy over the last couple of weeks, which I needed for Pittsburgh, but I gave myself a lot of leeway when it came to junk food; I ate a LOT of cookies at work and ice cream at home. So for the next couple of weeks, I’m cutting out added sugars and processed carbs from my diet and focusing on “whole foods” like veggies, meat, fish and fruits. I’m eating a lot of the same foods I ate when I did the Whole30 last year, but I’m not being completely strict about avoiding condiments with sugar and I’m not cutting out foods that I consider to be healthy like beans and potatoes.
It’s been fun perusing Paleo and vegetarian blogs again and re-discovering how delicious fresh food can be :) My plan is eat mostly grain-free for the first few weeks, and then slowly add in whole grains in the third week and whole-grain products after five weeks. Again, I’m not being really strict about the phases; I have one or two cheat meals a week so I can eat out – the whole point is just to eat healthier and more nutritious foods again. And so far, I’m feeling great!