QT: Moving On After Having a Bad Run (Best Of-ish)

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This post was originally part of Episode 283 released in July of 2016 and is more or less copy and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.

When is the last time you had a bad run?

No matter what you do to try and eliminate bad runs from your training, you’re going to deal with a clunker every now and then.


Sorry to rain on your parade, but facts are facts.

You can’t prevent the occasional bad run from showing up during your training. But you can make sure that when you do have a dud it is nothing more than an isolated incident.

I mean, the last thing you want to do is have one bad run linger in your psyche and infect your next run. And the one after that. And the one after that…

5 Ways to Deal with a Bad Run

Life Percentage

Seriously. Control what you can control and try not to worry too much about the rest.

Easier said than done, eh?

The next time you have a bad run, and it will happen I promise, here are a few suggestions to help you move past it quickly and completely.

  • Get Back on the Horse: Nothing helps get a bad taste out of your mouth like eating something delicious. Same thing when it comes to dealing with a bad run. The quicker you can get back out there for another run, and finish that one on a positive note, the better.
  • Change the Schedule: If switching up your schedule to allow you to get back on the horse more quickly is possible, go for it. Don’t do anything foolish, but shuffling your schedule for the next couple of days to allow you to get another run in ASAP is ok.
  • Write About It: You are keeping a running journal, right? There’s never a better time to write a long journal entry than after a bad run. Just get it all of your feelings/frustrations/worries out there and on the page. You might find that simply writing an objective page or two about your run is enough to allow you get it out of your system.
  • Learn Something: Hands down, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. As long as you learn something from a bad run, your run wasn’t in vain.
  • Accept It, Move On: Again, bad runs happen. Doesn’t matter if you’re training for Rio or in week 2 of the C25K program, you will have a bad run now and again. If you can learn to simply accept that as a fact and quickly move on when it does, you’ll be golden.

Trying to Practice What I Preach

I had a bad run earlier this week.

My Tuesday run is an early one for me, and after staying up late on Monday I was struggling to get going Tuesday morning. (lesson learned)

I had a Fartlek run scheduled for that day, which ends up being about a 7.1 mile route.

Shyeah Right

Instead, I changed it to hill repeats. Still a hard workout, but I could make it a bit shorter if necessary. And I did. (change the schedule)

Once I got home, I got out the journal and started writing. I didn’t need to vent, but writing about the workout definitely helped me to get over the fact that I had a pretty shitty workout that day. (journal it + accept/move on)

It’s Going to Be Ok, I Promise

No one run or workout is make or break in the grand scheme of things.

So when you have a bad run, no matter where it is in your training cycle, all is not lost. In fact, I’d argue that in most cases nothing at all is lost.

As long as you can keep your one bad run from bleeding into subsequent runs, you’ll be fine come race day. I promise.

Every runner has the occasional bad run. The key is not letting one become two... #runchat Click To Tweet

How Do You React When You Have a Bad Run?

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