Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Post race 'Let Down'

Ever notice a day or two after a target race you have a feeling of let down or even a little depression?  It doesn't happen to me much anymore; probably because I haven't set up target race in a while.  My only target these days is measuring the 'fun factor' in every pedal stroke... 'Fun' defined as being strong & fit and the expression of this in races and training.  The results aren't that important to me now although continuing to learn the complexities and positives within a race and the lifestyle are.  And yet regardless of this Monday's after a weekend of racing can still be a bit rough.  I'll feel a fluttering anxiety throughout the day and maybe be a bit bummed out too.  It's a murkiness nobody wants on their shoulders but I suspect many athletes experience the same thing on a regular basis.

I also think the bigger the event is (or the build up to it), the bigger the let down-depression can potentially be.  There's definitely a correlation here. The scale of the former affects the degree of the latter.

Personally speaking I'd have a weight in my head after a big event. Sorta like a 'now what' question mark that would spiral in my head.  'What am I gonna do with this fitness and focus; ...all the sacrifice, those training hours....what do I do with all of that force now?' Stuff like this would swirl in my head. Couple this with a honed physiology and acute urgings for an outlet, it makes for a potent projection of  fight or flight nervousness mixed in a grey sense of drift at the same time.  It sucks!

Sport psychologist's have it all mapped out but for guys like me I think simple reasoning is a good approach. I don't have a solution but I think awareness of it will make for better preparation going in and help manage expectations & emotions going know?  Be aware and recognize it for what it is, then figure out a way to deal with it that works best for your personal makeup.  I reckon that'd be the first step.

Peace and roll strong.


  1. Yep, back in mid-late 90s when I was doing ultrarunning events the letdown after those was intense, particularly ~1 week after the VT100 miler, shattered right after but then a void as in, what's next and how could I top what I just did?

  2. Many experts call this phenomenon post-event depression.

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