I’ve been running Rock ‘n’ Roll races for a long time now. Ahhh the memories. The experiences. The highs. The lows. And one of the many things I’ve noticed, and loved, at Rock ‘n’ Roll races is how many new runners there are participating! Whether it’s someone’s first 5K, half marathon or marathon, I’m always so happy to be around such dedicated people.
As you’re all aware, so much work goes into to training for a race. And as many of us are aware, there are going to be quite a few bad runs in a training cycle.
TO THE NEW RUNNERS
Since so many new runners participate in Rock ‘n’ Roll races, I just wanted to let you all know, you’re not alone when you have a bad training run. It’s frustrating. You start to question yourself. I learned it’s part of the process and quite normal. Yin and Yang.
Bad runs are like cold weather in the spring. We hate it but it’s bound to happen from time to time. And we cherish the warmer weather that much more. So what should you do when you have a bad training run?
THE BAD RUN
A bad run now and then is normal. Onward and Upward I say. Training is bigger than the sum of one run. The entire season makes the race. Stay mentally strong and shake it off. Also get some rest. You need to have bad runs to appreciate (and love) the great runs. And if all runs felt awesome all the time, everyone would run. Bad runs are necessary to help you get stronger to get you through race day.
Not every run is rainbows and butterflies. Remember, marathon training is months and months long. One run does not make or break it. First and foremost, believe in ALL of your training. Try to pinpoint what went wrong (food, sleep, etc.) and change it up. There have been times my 18 training run was my worst run of the entire time I trained. And then boom! 20 was much better.
Remember, not every run is a good one. Next week will be better. There are going to be bad runs. Getting it done doesn’t have to be pretty. Fix what you can. Next week will be better. If you finish the long run, focus on that. The bad runs build our true strength as runners. It’s always very important to remember to not panic. One bad run doesn’t necessarily indicate a bigger problem. Try to figure out why it was bad. How was it different than other long runs, what did you do differently. It could be giving you valuable information that will help you have a better race. As long as you are learning from your failures, they are not really failures. Regroup and hit back next weekend.
You always want to remember a training cycle is an entire process. Everything will pay off come race day. And a training cycle means you are a training athlete and if every day was a success you would never learn anything. Embrace the bad run. There are good runs and bad runs in every training cycle. It doesn’t matter how new or seasoned you are. You want to work all the kinks out before the big day. I always have a horrible run right before a race. Always.
Bottom line? Learn from the bad run. Embrace the suck. And kick your next run in the teeth! You got this!