Tips on How To Deal With Post Marathon Depression.

Tips on How To Deal With Post Marathon Depression.

Last year, we coined the phrase describing post marathon depression as  Schmung.  These are our tips on how to deal with Schmung!

Monday 40,000 of you woke up to the feeling of amazing accomplishment, completing the Chicago Marathon.  A week later, the Schmung has creeped in, and many of you are feeling depressed, angry, tired and completely confused.

For the most part the aches and pains of the race have gone away, but the mental stress and anguish continues.  Right off the bat, this is natural, believe it or not, this is part of the marathon experience.

Mother's don't rip my head off for the comparison, but it is a lot like postpartum.  You have been carrying around this "baby" for months and suddenly it's all over.  On top of it, your release, my release for stress and anxiety is exercise and that's the one thing you are not supposed to do a lot of!  Argh!

It's OK.  You will survive.  Here are a few helpful tips to get you through post marathon depression or Schmung!

Set Long Term Goals-

While you are relaxing, and yes, you do need to relax, start to set a series of new "realistic" goals.   What's next?  Another marathon, the same marathon and a better time?  Maybe change things up and try a triathlon or century ride on a bike.  You have a great base of fitness, what's the next challenge?  This time of year most races are open for registration and cheaper than they will be in a few months so while you are resting, check out all of the amazing options for races, pick a goal, sign up and start to set a new focus.

Set Short Term Goals-

The marathon is over, but there is a lot of racing still going on in Chicago.  You don't have to run 26.2 miles to get a good workout and endorphin rush.  If you need a challenge and a good time, here are a few options to consider that are coming up and shouldn't beat you up too much.

October 23rd- Homecoming 5K-The Homecoming 5K is about stretching the wrinkles out of that old college t-shirt, seeing if it still fits and showing your school spirit in a fun, alumni-themed 5K run and tailgate party.

October 29st- Monster Dash- 5K and ½ Marathon- Cool finishers medals, awards for the best costume and trick or treating.  Click here to win a free entry!

November 5th- Hot Chocolate 5 & 10 K- Free Ghirardelli Chocolate

Fit not Fat- An immediate off season goal.

Part of living in Chicago is the tradition of packing on the pounds during the Winter.  Now is the time to get strong, build on your endurance base with a strength and flexibility regiment.  I am hitting P90X, today is day #1.  Something like this, gives me a daily routine(something we all dig) and should help with my strength, flexibility and explosive power for next season.


It's hard to eat and not be able to exercise as much as you have been.   You may feel like you are packing on a few pounds, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  You need to eat as well as hydrate.  I was talking to one marathon runner and told her to hit Cold Stone for a bucket of goodness.  Her reaction was complete horror!  "I could never do that!"  This is the time to say "thank you" to your body for getting you through the months of training and the race.

Cold Stone everyday, no, but a little treat as you recover isn't the worst thing in the world.  Regardless, you do need to replenish the many different things you have depleted.  Doing this might make you feel a little guilty, but it will speed up the recovery process, help with the blues and get you back to racing quicker.

If You Must Exercise-

Stay away from high impact exercises.  A recovery run on a flat surface is fine, hills and telephone sprints, not a good idea yet.  Yes, a 13
mile run will make you feel giddy with endorphins, but you will be slowing down the true recovery and possibly leaving yourself open to
injury and even illness.  Try swimming, the exercise bike at the gym or even a long walk on your favorite path.  Enjoy the cool weather and the
colors changing, you will be running on that path soon enough.

Yes, I said illness!  You are more susceptible to colds and respiratory infections, so back to the rest thing. The rule of thumb is to take an
easy day for every mile of the event. 26 well deserved easy days for 26 miles.


There is no such thing as an easy 26.2 miles.  Why not chill, you earned it.  I know you are feeling like a couch potato, but a marathon
finisher can't be a couch potato.  You have busted your butt to make it across the finish line, you are part of the 1% fittest people in the
world, laying on the couch is true, 100%, pure unfiltered relaxation.

Your body needs this.  As much as your mind doesn't like it.  By resting, a lot, you are helping yourself recover and positioning yourself for a quick recovery.

Enjoy it, you have earned it.


Leave a comment
  • Good way to put it all in perspective! Last week I ordered a Giordano's deep dish pizza and stuffed my face while watching the biggest loser and enjoyed continued post marathon bliss.

  • Nice!!! Believe it or not, that "vegging and pigging out" is helping you recover!

  • Great suggestions. I took off a few days, ate some usually 'forbidden' food, and then signed up for a couple of half-marathons over the winter. Hopefully that will keep me running and in shape for the next marathon - possibly Marine Corps.

  • fb_avatar

    Reading this actually made me feel a lot better. I was feeling very sleepy since Sunday - and now that I know this is normal.. I feel better.

Leave a comment