The Bad Run: Guest Blog by Ambassador Gregg Bard
We’ve all had them. They are inevitable. A part of life. Sometimes for no reason at all. Nothing to point to. Or everything to point to. THE BAD RUN.
Sometime ago one of my friends had a not so fun long run. She became frustrated. Really frustrated. After all, she was training for her first marathon. I’ve had my fair share of bad runs too. They are not happy moments. 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.
One thing to remember is a bad run now and then is normal. Training is bigger than the sum of one run. You have to try and stay mentally strong. Shake it off. Also get some rest. Think of runs like dating. You have or have had bad dates in your life. Bad dates make you appreciate the good dates that much more. The same goes for runs. 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.
To a degree, bad runs are necessary to help you get stronger, to get you through race day. Not every run is rainbows and butterflies. Marathon training goes on for three plus months. For some of us it’s a year-long process. Always remember one run does not make or break it.
Believe in ALL of your training. Trust yourself. Trust your training. Trust your coach. Trust the process. Had a bad run? Try to pin point what went wrong (food, sleep, etc.) and change it up. They’re not excuses. Don’t make excuses. It’s a process. If you can learn something from a bad run, then in the scheme of things, it’s not such a bad run after all. As long as you are learning from your failures, they are not really failures.
Try and remember you’re not alone. One bad run does not make you less of a runner vs. another. We’ve all been there. There are good runs and bad runs in every training cycle. It doesn’t matter how new or seasoned you are. When I had doubts during my first marathon training, that’s what someone told me. My first marathon turned out to be amazing! In fact if I remember correctly, my first 18 mile run when I trained for my first marathon was my worst run the entire time I trained. 20 was much better. You live. You learn. You bounce.
Sometimes focus on the end game. Be present. If you finish the long run, focus on that. The bad runs build our true strength. As in life, when you have tough days, tough experiences, learn how to see the big picture. Learn how to be resilient. Do not panic. And honestly, please try and remember there are far worse things in life than a bad run. No need to list them out. Just watch the news for an hour.
Bottom line? Learn from the run. Embrace the suck. And kick your next run in the teeth! You have to believe in yourself more than anything. More than focusing on the run itself, the time, the course, the weather, remember you are more important that anything. You got this. Now get out there whether you are running, biking or swimming and Beat Yesterday!
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