What happens after you have a bad long run?
Do you automatically start to doubt your ability on race day or do you move on and chalk it up to training?
I’ve done both.
9 years ago when I first started training for marathons a bad long run would get me down for weeks. I mistakenly thought that the long run was the most important part of marathon training and that if I had a terrible super long run then there was no way I could run a good race.
Years and 20 marathons later I’ve learned better.
I have crappy long runs every single training cycle. The faster I’ve gotten the MORE of these terrible type long runs I’ve had.
I get anxiety about the long run and stress about whether the next run coming is going to be that run that almost breaks me.
3 weeks ago I went out at a little after 4 am with the goal of running 20 miles. 15 feet into the run I knew it was going to BE MISERABLE.
I knew it was going to be one of those runs that would make me doubt whether I could run a faster marathon this fall. What I didn’t know was that for a moment in time it actually made me want to give up marathons all together – reasoning with myself that 20 was plenty enough to last a lifetime.
I spent 20 miles thinking about nothing other than the fact that I didn’t want to run 20 miles. It consumed my mind. Making it to the next mile felt impossible. At mile 15 I felt an unfamiliar twinge in my knee. I knew I should putz home but I was being proud – I wanted to finish 20 even if they were hard. I wanted to race a 10 miler the next weekend so I knew it was either do this 20 this weekend or I would have to do it the next weekend.
I finished but I felt like hell for all 20 miles of it.
The run as expected made me doubt for part of the day. Then I remembered the not so great runs I had before B & A this year, the not so great runs I had before Columbus Marathon last year and I smiled.
Crappy runs don’t always mean that you are going to have a crappy race.
Bad runs happen. You have a choice whether you let them push you down or pick you up.
What will you choose?
- Mile 1: 10:22
- Mile 2: 8:47
- Mile 3: 9:03
- Mile 4: 8:54
- Mile 5: 9:14
- Mile 6: 9:05
- Mile 7: 9:12
- Mile 8: 8:37
- Mile 9: 8:43
- Mile 10: 8:37
- Mile 11: 9:02
- Mile 12: 9:00
- Mile 13: 8:28
- Mile 14: 9:09
- Mile 15: 9:06
- Mile 16: 8:48
- Mile 17: 8:55
- Mile 18: 8:49
- Mile 19: 8:21
- Mile 20: 8:19
As further proof that bad runs don’t always mean bad races – I ran a pretty sweet PR a week after that crappy run.
I will not let a bad run get me down. I will not let a bad run get me down. Repeat after me. I will not let a bad run get me down.
In the end a PR, a bad run, or a good run is just a time on a clock. Find happines in the experience and in the people you love.
These three make every run good!
I special shout out to my friend and coaching client Jocelyn from Enthusiastic Runner who PR’ed BIG TIME at Chicago Marathon on Sunday. She ran a 4:03 and keeps emailing me about how shocked she is about her progress about a runner. I’m not shocked. Sometimes there is something inside of you that others can see but you have a hard time seeing it/believing it yourself.
She was a rock star runner before I met her she just needed to really believe it. The power of the mind is JUST AS important when the comes to running as are the physical runs. Here is her blog http://enthusiasticrunner.com/ if you haven’t seen it before. If you have – then head over there and tell her congrats!! Dream big friends. DREAM BIG.
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