QT: Salvage a Bad Run (or Race) By Moving the Goal Posts
If you run long enough, you will learn that not all runs (or races) go according to plan.
How do you react when you are having a bad run?
Do you just say screw it, and cut the run short? Do you power through, hating it, until you finish?
Or do you figure out how to turn your bad run into the proverbial lemonade?
Reframe a Bad Run
Last weekend, I was out for my long run and I just wasn’t feeling it.
The plan was to do an 18-miler, for the second week in a row, and I was struggling.
Nothing was particularly the matter, it was just one of those days that all of us have from time to time.
And honestly, there were a couple of times that I thought about cutting my run short.
Ordinarily, that is my go-to response for a bad run. Just shut it down have a better run next time.
The problem was, I had a goal of hitting 40 miles for the week. And in order to get there, I needed to get to 18 miles.
So I kept grinding it out.
The problem with simply grinding out the miles is that is sucks.
When a run turns into a grinder for me, there is no joy. It simply becomes work.
And that is why I rarely grind when I’m having a bad run. Instead, I shut it down and call it a day.
But on this particular day, I tried a different tactic: I reframed the goal for my run.
And it made all the difference in the world.
Move the Goal Posts
What do I mean by reframing my bad run?
Simple. I picked a new goal for my run when I was 3/4 of the way finished with the workout.
As I was struggling with taking way too many walk breaks, not because I was tired but simply because I was having a bad run, I decided instead of grinding our the miles or taking a shortcut back to the car, I was going to focus on a different target for the day.
I moved my goal post for this workout, and it made all the difference.
Instead of focusing on getting to 18 miles for the day, I set my mind to finishing the last four miles of the workout strong–mentally and physically.
I knew I didn’t need to walk, but I was letting myself off the hook with the walk breaks I was taking.
So after filling up my water bottles at mile 14, the task was simple: make the last four miles the strongest of the day.
I knew I had a couple of hills left before I finished, and I vowed to myself that I’d find a way to keep running, no matter how slowly, all the way to the top of them.
And by giving my mind a new target to focus upon, something funny happened.
My last four miles were fricking awesome!
I wasn’t setting any speed records, but even with the hills they were my steadiest miles of the day.
And when I finished, instead of being pissed about a bad run I was feeling good about finding a way to salvage a good finish to my workout.
Lesson: Find the Positive in Your Next Bad Run or Race
If the occasional bad run is as certain as death and taxes, then you might as well have a plan in place for dealing with the next one you encounter.
As runners, there is always something to be gained from every workout and race.
I’m of the belief that we learn more from the hard times than when things are smooth sailing.
So a bad run is a great opportunity to learn something that can help you down the road.
Maybe it’s a way of reframing your workout in your mind.
Maybe it’s a chance to run a different route than you usually do.
Or maybe it’s just a chance to steel your resolve and grind out the workout.
As long as you learn something from a bad run, it’ll help you in the long run.
What Do You Do When You are Having a Bad Run or Race?
Want to Support the Continued Growth & Production of the Show?
Check out the support page for ideas and suggestions of ways you can help me grow the show. And remember, not all support involves money. Some of the best ways you can show your support are 100% free.
Subscribe to the Show
Never miss another episode of the Diz Runs With podcast by subscribing to the show, and for my fellow Apple fans out there, it’s never been easier now that the podcast app is native on the new operating system. iPhone/iPod/iPad users click here. Android users click here. SoundCloud users click here.
Please Give Me Some Feedback!
Take the 6 question listener survey to help me shape the future of this podcast.
Register for a Free Race Training Plan
Every month, I’m giving away a FREE training plan for the race of your choice. For details/information, and to sign up, just click here.
Join The Tribe!
There’s always room for more members of the tribe! Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else. If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!