Post Ironman Triathlon Blues

Things to consider after your Ironman.

You must take time off after your Ironman. Other wise you delay the recovery and the training you are completing is just training and not practising and preparing you for the future.You now have the opportunity to really boost your fitness by fully recovering.

Take time out and you will be rewarded with a huge spike in fitness, train straight away and you will not.
The many months of training has changed your life style and now you have crossed the finish line, you no longer have something to train for.

The many hours and miles of training for the Ironman is now over.

You are now part of the Ironman family.

Lack of organisation to a strict time and training regimen. Your sense of achievement has now been fulfilled, no one is really pleased with their performance we all want to go quicker. The anticipation and excitement has now gone. Without adequate rest you fail to recover the mind and the body.

The feeling of something missing in your life – Now time to do something different.

Unusual grumpiness – Tired not fully recovered.

Sadness - Like you have lost a best friend.

Bored -plently of time on your hands.

Restlessness – still not ready to resume training.

Sudden mood swings - often as a result of procrastination.

Not Motivated - even to enter a favourite triathlon.

The loss of any direction will result in feelings of aimlessness & despondency.

Missing the regular e mails, social support and group sessions that were part of the Ironman training culture.

Depression is a sign you have not fully recovered.

It is perfectly normal to feel low after the Ironman.

Avoid setting yourself goals and jumping straight back into training in the first 3 weeks. You will make much better decisions 3 weeks after finishing.

Don’t ignore feelings listen to your mind and body.

Sleep in and do not feel guilty, this is part of your reward.Enjoy not having a target to aim for.

You are a human being not a machine so you need time to charge up your batteries.

Invest your time in other parts of your life to improve and simplify for lifestyle.

There is more to life than just training, time to catch up on things you have not been doing. Especially the things that you did not do when in training mode. Meet up with friends and family.

Be more creative at work even socialize late into the evening.

Stretch rather than train.

Rest and recover rather than stand up.

Reward yourself with a massage.

Learn to feel guilty by doing the things you abstain from while in ironman training.

Exercise can help with mood swings so do not convince yourself that lots of training will dissolve the Ironman blues.

Ironmate list below a range of things and mistakes to consider to avoid errors that have been made over the last 25 years in triathlon. A few minutes reading below could save you hours or wasting the rest of the season.

1. Over training. You can easily tip your body over the edge by training just for training sake after the Ironman = Rest to recover. = Waste of training time = disappointing training or race results.

2. Mental burnout = Unable to push thru when things get tough = sign you are also mentally tired.

3. Illness – reduced immune system, now ill after the ironman, now you have a cold. This is a sign your immune system needs to strengthen itself with rest and recovery. Your body is sending you a message.

4. Injury – Caused by the changes of your style, tight muscles when tired during the Ironman. An injury is now waiting to happen!

5. Plateau = every day is the same lethargic and tired no real zest for life = Do alternative exercise like core or strength training.

6. Stress – from trying to fit in too much for more than six months and neglecting the rest of your life. Now is the time to catch up with friends and family and get things done that you have delayed doing.


FINISHER = Finished Ironman Now In Side Hurt Excited (to) Race

INJURY = Ironman Now Just Underperform Racing Year

EUPHORIC = Eager Underperforms Proud Happy Over Racing Invincible Competitive.

HAPPY = hastily after proudly participating (in) Your (Ironman)

After the Ironman especially if it was your first time or you hit your goals you will want to replicate that same euphoric feeling again.


You have devoted your last 6-12 months or more to the Ironman triathlon.

It was over is a single day. You will always feel lost and empty.

You still have the same dedication but now have no target.

You have determination but no Ironman endorphins

You still have drive but no Ironman purpose.

You have more free time than before and no short term goal.

What you do next is important to beat the Post Ironman Blues.

Avoid procrastination about what might have been. Write down the whole race and what you learnt. How good was your pace nutrition and non competitive mind? Add to the list as you recall the Ironman in your mind. Making notes will stop your mind keep self questioning and causing negative Ironman Blues.

Plan a holiday with your swim bike run kit.

A treat for a feat – Reward yourself for the sacrifices you have made.

What next? Is there Life after Ironman?

1. Try something new like Yoga, Core class, Bodypump, self defense.This will be refreshing and good for the mind.

2. Help out at a Triathlon, this will soon get you motivated again and realise what is involved in being a marshall or race crew.

3. Train with others. Go and meet up at the local running cycling master swimming club or Triathlon club. Train with others at a slower pace as a more social group.

4. Join a gym and use different machines. Aim for low impact excercises.

5. Make your own smoothie drinks.

6. Not convinced with the above? How many elite ironmen and women compete soon after they have crossed the Ironman finish line.
(a) They were much quicker
(b) They have the luxury of not having to work and can recover much quicker.

Speedy recovery!