It happens to all runners: one day you have the most incredible long run, and it seems like the next day an easy run half the distance is kicking your booty.
Did you get enough rest? Forget your allergy meds? Did you fuel properly? Did you fuel properly after your last run? Were you properly hydrated? When was your last rest day, anyway? Was it an unusually hot/cold/snowy/windy/humid day? Did you adjust your pace for those conditions?
Forget the training plan
Chances are if all you do is run for fun, then you won’t be bothered by a bad run. Probably you’ll even cut it short and live to run another day.
If you’re deep into training for something, though, it might be time to forget the plan and just go out and run. Maybe naked — without a watch, that is.
Take a look through your running journal
Of course you keep a running journal, right? It could be written. It could be your blog. It could be Facebook posts.
Look back through it. What happened the last time you had a run that sucked? Did all your subsequent runs suck? Did you decide this running thing just isn’t for you, that clearly you suck at it?
I’ll bet you’ll find the good runs outweigh the bad runs. Just accept that some runs are gonna suck and have faith your next one won’t.
Think about all the greats . . .
. . . who failed.
- Disney was fired for “lack of imagination”.
- Edison’s teacher said he was “too stupid to learn anything”.
- JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” was rejected by 12 publishers.
- Babe Ruth, the home run king, struck out more than he hit homers.
- Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team sophomore year.
They didn’t let adversity — or rejection — deter them from coming back stronger. You will, too.
Dangle a carrot
When all else fails, decide on something that really, really, really motivates you. Food. A new playlist. Some new running clothes. New kicks. Whatever will get you out there even though you know this running thing just sucks.
Humans are animals — and the more you reward animals for doing something, the more they will do it to try to get that reward. So reward yourself.
Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:
What do you do when your run sucks?
What other famous people do you admire who failed?
What’s your favorite “carrot” to dangle?