Surviving the post event blues
You’ve trained so hard, often for weeks; followed a rigorous training programme and pushed yourself to your limits.
It doesn’t matter what your thing is; martial arts, marathon running, obstacle races… following all of that hard work and a (hopefully) good result, you’ll have come out of your event feeling euphoric. You might celebrate, and enjoy a bit of glory for a few days, but the challenge really starts when you have to come back to earth.
I’ve always been a sufferer of a post tournament slump – and the British Open last weekend has been the inspiration for this post, because I would love to try and break that cycle!
I push myself really hard to train up for my competitions. When the tournament weekend arrives I soak up every last minute: I love the whole process of it – right through from the weigh in (and the post weigh in carb fest), seeing all my friends and rivals from all over the world, to the adrenaline spikes of the fights themselves, right through to the after party! However, once it’s all done, I can wind up feeling completely lost. I easily lose a day eating crap with Facebook permanently in front of me. Somehow this feeling can be even worse at an event where I’ve preformed well - I find myself just wanting to re live the event and connect with the people I’ve been with all weekend. I also find that for the next couple of weeks, I end up not really doing too much. I usually build my schedule around the tournament to give myself a couple of weeks off after the event, but inevitably I get restless and bored.
So here are some of my suggestions that you can try (and I’m trying!) to help us all avoid those blues.
- Look after your body. Often events will leave us with some sort of soreness, or injuries. Use the time directly after an event to get on to some rehab. Whether that’s just getting yourself a massage and hanging out on your foam roller a bit, or going to see a physio and getting on with some necessary exercises, it will help to speed up your recovery time and get your body feeling back to normal a bit quicker
- Switch up your routine. If you’re a runner, then it might be really nice to go swimming after your event. For me, I tend to ditch karate for a couple of weeks and do a bit of yoga and perhaps a bit of running or some weight training. Just something different stops me feeling in a rut until it’s time to start getting on to prep for the next one!
- Stay on top of your diet. If you’ve been eating really well for the last however many weeks to prep for your event, then it can be all too tempting to just blow it all. Whilst I don’t discourage a few well earned treats (God only knows I have plenty of them too), but it’s wise to try and not let it get out of hand. Firstly, you never feel really amazing about yourself after a grease fest/sugar binge, and secondly, it just makes it so much harder to get back on track once you’ve started to fall down the sugar spiral.
- Spend some time doing the things you missed out on during your prep. I often have to say no to late nights out with my mates when I’m getting ready for a competition, so I do try to plan a couple of girls nights out or a few nights away somewhere nice, for after. It’s motivating to know I have that to look forward to, and the delayed gratification just makes those cocktails taste that much sweeter!
- Don’t overbook yourself or give yourself a hard time. This is one I need to work on a lot more! I’m the queen of never giving myself a break, so much so that this time I totally messed up and I’ve ended up having to cancel some appointments for the first time ever (sad face), because I just didn’t allow myself any time to recover from the punishment my body has been through – the challenge is now to not beat myself up over that, luckily my wonderful clients are so understanding!
- Plan your next event. Sometimes this can be really helpful in giving you a new focus and a new goal. It doesn’t have to be the same event or the same goal, but giving yourself another challenge can be really useful in getting your head back in the game.
Let me know what you do to avoid the slump, or if these tips have helped you at all!