Outtakes: Quad-Cities Marathon

Participants run on the bike path near Leach Park on Sunday, Sept. 24, during the 20th running of the Quad-Cities Marathon.

John Schultz, QUAD-CITY TIMES

Now that the temps have dropped, we are all facing the reality that the 2017 race season is over. There are still a few races in the coming months, but for most, it’s time to wind down.

If you’ve spent the past eight to 12 months charging hard toward a goal, it can be a real challenge to realize that it might be a few months before you get another shot at a big race. Post-race blues are real. They can be hard to deal with and can really put you in a funk. This is a common theme among runners this time of year.

What’s the answer to combating this void in your life? While not bulletproof, here are a few things that can help you reset.

1. Take a break from running.

Yep, you read that right. Even if you love to run and it’s your life, taking a few weeks off from running completely is a good thing. At the very least, the mental break from pounding out miles is huge. Honestly, I’ve shorted myself on this piece a few times in the past and it just makes your next cycle that much more of a grind.

2. Focus on being active in different ways.

Taking a break doesn’t mean having to lose your fitness levels. Changing up the routine and participating in activities such as swimming, biking, hiking and yoga are easy ways to keep sharp.

3. Get caught up on projects around the house.

The majority of runners have a habit of putting off large projects during training cycles. Rather than let them continue to pile up, use some of your extra energy to knock a few out.

4. Regain your social life.

It’s safe to say that you’ve probably missed a few weekend nights out over the past year due to your scheduled long runs. It’s funny how sleep looks better than going out during big training blocks. Schedule a few nights out to grab some dinner or drinks with family and friends.

5. Sign up for a BIG 2018 race.

Once your break is over, put something on your calendar for 2018 that not only excites you, but also makes you a little nervous. This sets the bar to do something great in the New Year, along with a little motivation to get you back out the door.

With shorter days already upon us and the time change coming this weekend, please be careful out on the streets. If you are running in the dark, you should be using a headlamp or flashlight. In the past few weeks, I’ve come across quite a few people running without any light source before the sun has come up. While a light doesn’t guarantee your safety, it provides a better opportunity to see and be seen.

Jeramy Duffee is an RRCA Running Coach and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with racing and coaching experience ranging from 5K’s to 100 mile trail races. For coaching or personal training inquiries, please email him at swingthegate@gmail.com

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