Quick Tip: How to Bounce Back After a Bad Race

A bad race is something that all runners have to deal with at some point (or several points) in their running careers.

I wish there was a guaranteed way of preventing a bad race from happening, but it’s simply not possible.

Sure, proper preparation goes a long way toward ensuring a mostly good race day experience, but even a great training cycle can end with a race day disaster.

It Was a Bad Race, Not a Disaster

Top 4 Ways to Bounce Back After a Bad Race

  • 4. Give It Some Time: The wound will be fresh immediately after the race. Once you’re able to give it a little time, the disappointment from the race will start to wear off. Even just a few hours can transform a horrendous race into a less than ideal race.
  • 3. Learn From It: If you can learn one thing from a bad race, then it wasn’t a wasted effort. After a couple of days, look back on the race and really analyze everything that went wrong IN ADDITION to everything that went well. I bet you’d be surprised at how many things go according to our plan, even when the race ends poorly. By looking at the positives, you’re able to learn what steps to repeat next time. And if you can figure out what may have gone wrong, you can figure out what to change in your next race that will hopefully lead to a more positive race day experience for your future races.
  • 2. Accept That Some Things are Beyond Control: You can be 100% prepared for a race physically and mentally, and then something happens that you can do nothing about and your race spirals out of control quickly. Weather is a huge factor, and something you have zero control over. You may look back on your race and decide there was nothing that you could have changed that would have made the situation better. You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt, and sometimes you’re not dealt much.
  • 1. Get Back on the Horse: Had a bad race? Well then, find another race to help get that bitter taste out of your mouth. Whether that’s another race of the same distance or something small in your town, getting over a bad race is a lot easier when it’s no longer your most recent race. So get back on that horse, cowboy.

Bad races happen to all of us at some point.

I wish they didn’t but they do.

But the next time you deal with a bad race, remember these tips to make sure that one bad day doesn’t impact your next race.

Don't Let a Bad Race Get You Down! 4 Tips to Help You Bounce Back ASAP! Share on X

How Have You Bounced Back from Bad Races that You’ve Run?

3 replies
  1. Pahla B
    Pahla B says:

    I’ve had more than my fair share of bad races, and I whole-heartedly agree with these tips! I remind myself often, “Win or Learn, there is no Lose.” Thankfully, the more you learn, the less frequently those bad races come around. 🙂


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