The week before last I had a bad race at the Philadelphia Half Marathon. While yes, the course was challenging my personal bad race wasn’t because of that. Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen. While it stinks, I race so frequently to let one bad race ruin my day.
After thinking out loud and moving forward, I had a great Turkey Trot last week. Like anything, you must take the good with the bad.
So what can you do after a bad race?
Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…
Find the Positives:
When I finished the Philadelphia half marathon, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful, but I’m injury free. The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great but I finished healthy. After cooling down, I headed to my car and went to work. I still had a great day and the 87+ minutes of unenjoyment were only a small fraction of my day.
The entire race was miserable, my mental attitude was not great but I finished the race healthy. After cooling down, I headed to my car and went to work. I still had a great day and the 87+ minutes of morning unenjoyment was only a small fraction of my day.
It’s important to look at the positives of your race. Did you finish healthy and injury free? Was it faster than last year? Could you smile afterwards and have a good day?
Next, Reflect and Figure out Why:
Immediately after Philadelphia, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”. Even if my training log, I said I didn’t have a reason of why the race went poorly. Now that I’ve sat back and reflected, I know there are plenty of reasons Philadelphia was not a great race for me. I hadn’t eaten well, slept well and my body was adjusting to new workouts. Not to mention the course itself was a tough course. None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well. Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t”.
It gives you ways and reasons to improve. You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition or sleep patterns.
Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:
After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover. Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax. Set your sights on a new race or goal.
Maybe a marathon burnt you out…
Or maybe you want to run longer races…
Find something to get excited and refocused about!
For me personally, while there were plenty of half marathons sooner, I decided to wait a few weeks and still focus on Dallas half. Instead of needing redemption, it’s important to wait and get full recovery.
Questions for you:
How do you get over a bad race?
What has been your least enjoyable race?