Training for months for a marathon, or sometimes even a year can be exhausting, but there’s a training more than the physical and all the miles that goes into all of that preparation. It is our mental training. All of the physical process of our training can make us feel stronger after each day, every early run but dealing with that voice that  says “I need to stop,” or “I can’t do this,” is another part of the training and for me personally, is just as important as the physical training for success. What keeps you going through the miles? Your mental strength? Your physical discipline?

We’re creatures of habit, and our bodies crave consistency. A marathon training program can give us highly detailed instructions on how to live during our training, but then after race day, we’re left with all of that post-race time to figure out on our own.

I wanted to share these tips that have helped me recover my mind after the long and hard physical training. The better we recover and rest our minds, the more we open ourselves up to switch gears toward the next challenge.

7  Mental Tips for Recovery

1) Enjoy the achievement! Feel happy for finishing that race, no matter the distance , PR or not, you trained hard for it and you did it!! Enjoy your favorite food, why not? Buy yourself a present, your favorite flowers, a Spa day ( It’s my favorite! ) maybe even a new pair of running shoes 😉

2) Get a relaxing massage: A massage can help our muscles recover faster but are also the perfect trigger to set our minds on relax and disconnect from any stress in our lives.

3) Get back to the things that you missed: We likely put a “pause” on things we enjoyed like hanging out with friends, enjoying a beverage from time to time, or other social activities – it’s time to have fun again and involve all of those people who missed into your celebration! Family time and friends always gives  time to refresh our mind and balance.

4) Take some time OFF for yourself: May be a short trip, vacation, or just doing the things that you like to do alone or other things that relax you. Meditation and Yoga help me so much, and a Spa day is a BIG plus.

5) Next – more races! Why not? Take some time to check the upcoming races in your area or city to run with friends. Make running together the priority and disregard the pace – just hang with your running friends, grab a few miles, then have some pizza and beers!

6) Walk! Take some time with friends, dogs, your loved one, or even alone and go for a walk and rediscover or find new places that you love around your city. Look for those peaceful places that can help you to disconnect from your routine. The beach, camping, road trip with friends! Just go and have fun and bring some peace and joy to your mind.

7) Do YOGA!!! If you haven’t tried yoga yet, what are you waiting for? It’s the perfect balance activity (and I would even include swimming here) for runners. Specialists often recommend doing an activity barefoot once per week, and with yoga you’ll get the added benefit to stretch and recover faster! In my case I love doing Hot core Yoga and relaxing Flows every day after a marathon!

I wish you the best of luck in your recovery journey and can’t wait to see you out at the next running event!

A version of this blog previously appeared on Carolina’s blog here. Follow Carolina on Instagram, Facebook, or her blog!