Part of the rites of spring are the events from Victoria to St John's that runners use as goal events to acheive a special distance or set a new personal best time. With the spring season now a fond memory, to avoid suffering from post-race syndrome following your big race, set some new goals for yourself.
First and foremost, do not lose the new level of fitness you have attained through your recent training cycle. This is the time to think of maintaining the level of performance your body has reached as an athlete. The key to maintaining your level of fitness is a maintenance program while you contemplate a new goal.
For the 10K racer, keep your long run in the 8 km (5 mi) range and use your new level of fitness to race some fast 5 Ks. Your base training is in place, and you can use the 5K races to improve your overall self-assurance and speed.
Half marathon runners can schedule a long run of 12 km (7.5 mi) to maintain their endurance. The half marathon runner on the off weekends can schedule in some 10K races to work on your strength, speed and self-confidence.
The marathon runnercan keep her long runs in the range of 16 km (10 mi). In addition to keeping you in shape, 16 km every other weekend can be a great way to abbreviate your training for the next marathon. By maintaining your long run in the 16 km range, you can prepare for the next marathon in as little as 12 weeks. Or you can prepare for a half marathon in six weeks.
Give yourself adequate recovery from your race—two weeks for a 10K race, three weeks for a half marathon and four weeks for a marathon—before you race any distance or do any high-quality running. You can run, but think of your runs as "massage type" running to loosen the legs. Select your races sparingly and aim for great results. Run to achieve a time, or run for fun or for special bragging rights over family and friends. A race can provide the stimulation to compete to your very best level of performance, or it can awaken you to the joy of running and the fun, camaraderie and festivities of race day.