- Runner depression - where does it come from and when does it hit?
- Runner depression - how to deal with it?
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Runner depression exists. Not everyone believes in it, although it catches practically every marathon runner. And the one who is just starting, and the professional who has been running for years. Some people cope with it better, others worse - hence the difference in the interpretation of their condition after the marathon. How to deal with it?
Runner's depression(post-marathon blues) can best be described as a decline in performance and motivation at the same time. The psyche sits down, the body hurts. This is the moment when the runner begins to doubt the sense of running and even hate it. There is a sense of nonsense and resignation. The state is very close to the usual depression, because a person does not want to meet anyone, talk to anyone and would most likely not leave the house.
During this time, runners are not able to return to normal life and deal with things that are far from running. Fortunately, this condition does not last long and it is a temporary stage. Usually post-marathon blues lasts for several days. Unfortunately, it tends to relapse after the next marathon.
Runner depression - where does it come from and when does it hit?
Running downhill appears after running a marathon. Interestingly, the achieved result does not affect the occurrence of depression. Post-marathon blues can manifest itself even in those who have won or achieved a lifetime marathon. There is no rule. Why is this happening? Participation in a marathon is a complex process. It is not only the run itself, but also weeks of preparation. The training plan, subordinating everything to running, mental preparation - all this absorbs the marathon runner so much that for some time he almost excludes himself from normal life. The highlight is, of course, the marathon itself. And after him? There is a problem. While preparation is a process that engages gradually - until the goal is achieved, after reaching the goal there is no gradual silencing - there is a sudden jump. A hard collision with everyday reality. It must hurt. And it hurts.
The marathon gives you adrenaline, and its completion makes you feel euphoric. This pleasant state does not last long, however. Usually it ends several hours after the run, when the runner is still experiencing the marathon under the influence of emotions, enjoys the result, boasts about it and tells others about the experience. Most often, the very next day the topic of the marathon ceases to exist forenvironment, so the runner must return to the normal "pre-marathon" reality. It is a brutal experience, especially as it is accompanied by physical pain caused by the body's reaction to enormous exertion. As adrenaline subsides, runners feel the effects of extreme running on their body. Headache, dehydration, muscle aches and malaise together with malaise drive the runner into the orange pit.
Runner depression - how to deal with it?
What may be consolation for a runner is that post-marathon blues is a transitional state and is not as debilitating as traditional depression. It can be compared, for example, to baby blues, i.e. the feeling of effect after childbirth, which usually stops after two weeks.
How quickly a marathon runner copes with depression depends on many factors, including mental and physical resistance. There is no cure for runner depression, but there are ways to prevent it, or at least minimize its symptoms.
How to deal with runner depression:
Rest after the run
It is worth listening to the body that needs regeneration after strenuous exercise. After running a marathon, you should not suddenly resume your daily duties, but give yourself time to gradually return to your mental and physical form. It is good, for example, to take a few days' vacation, rest a lot and spend time on the pleasures that we put aside during the preparations for the marathon. You can also speed up your return to form with biological regeneration treatments.
Gradually return to jogging and human contact
Runner's depression will be less noticeable if we do not take too long break from running after the run and set another goal to which we will strive. However, the recovery should be gradual. It is worth starting with light training. It is good to meet other marathon runners who are experiencing the same decline in form for training. In such a group, returning to running will be easier and more enjoyable. Remember, the enemy of depression is contact with other people.
Treat yourself a gift
A marathon runner deserves an award, even if he did not achieve the goal he intended. Just running a marathon and making a superhuman effort is a reason to reward yourself. You can improve your mood in various ways, e.g. by buying new running shoes, going on a trip, or by spending a good concert.
Finally, it is worth accepting that the marathon is over. That the goal for which we have been preparing for so long is no longer relevant. Coming to terms withthis will make it stop being the end of the world for us. The more that we will have many such "ends" in our life. Post-marathon blues likes to come back after marathons, so it's worth being ready for it. Acceptance will allow us to come back to reality faster and less painfully.