For many people, the finish line of a marathon marks the end of the racing season, and no sooner is the medal placed around their neck than they decide that they want to take a break from running. But instead of cutting back, many runners will continue to push themselves in training, fearful that they will start losing the fitness level they had worked so hard to achieve.
If you feel like you’ve lost your desire to run, put your training and racing on hold if and until you feel more motivated to lace on your running shoes. You might really need a break, or at least a change in your events. If you’ve trained for and raced in a big fall event, you’ve earned a rest, and there would be little sense in competing if it feels more like a chore and an obligation than a joy.
If you are unsure about your current frame of mind, spend some time thinking about these questions:
- What if, for whatever reason, you were no longer able to compete at all in the types of races you’ve been doing. What would you do instead?
- Why do you think you started racing in the first place? How and why was this different from your reasons for racing the past year or two?
- Putting aside reality, what physical challenge would you love to do above all else? Why?
- What circumstances could you imagine might make you excited to train and race again?