Some Runs are Terrible

some runs are terrible

I’ve typed and retyped this post a dozen times. Some runs are terrible.

I think it needs to be said, and throughout the last few days, I tried to find a more “tactful” way to say it.  Keeping it short, like the brief person I am, here it goes:

We all have bad runs and races. Get over yourself.

some runs are terrible

Most people know that running is and never will be everything for me.  I highly doubt I will be an Olympics Champion. Running is a fun hobby, not a must do.

Not every run is perfect, pleasant, and glamorous.  That holds true for everyone from professionals to those just starting out.  I’ve tanked multiple runs and races then put it in the rearview mirror.  Some runs are terrible! Of course, not everyone copes the same way, but if running is “your life’s purpose,” please find some more things that fulfill you.

If you treat a bad run like the end of the world, you need to find more hobbies.  If you treat any hobby like “the end of the world,” you need to find more hobbies.

So yes, some runs are just terrible. Here are some ways to get over them: 

Let Yourself Be Sad:

You are allowed to be sad about a terrible run, but there is a difference between sad and devastated. We all know you have put time into the training and race. Being sad is normal, but overthinking it and wasting excess time and energy is not.  Instead of focusing on the race or terrible run, think about your training and what you accomplished during the training cycle.  It’s not as if your training went out the window because you didn’t achieve your “A” goal.

Be Objective:
Did you sleep in during long runs?  Did you miss runs or workouts?  Were you sick? Was the weather bad? Some runs are terrible sometimes; there is an outside factor that affects your performance.

The number of people who justified their slower Boston performances this year was alarming.  We know it was monsooning…you don’t have to explain why you missed your goals…(I have raced many half marathons in the same conditions and been over 10 minutes slower).  As that Frozen Lady Says: Let it Go

The more you think about a terrible run, the more upset you get. This is true of anything from bad romantic breakups to sports.

Learn Something:
Did you learn something from the race or the training cycle?  When I missed my Phoenix Marathon goal (by…a lot), I learned a lot about myself while training.  I need speed work, racing, and also, at the time, marathon training was not right for me. Some runs are terrible but ask yourself: did I learn something from the terrible run?

There is Always Another Race:
Always keep this in mind.  Running is booming, and there will be another race.  That probably wasn’t your last race ever. Take time to regroup and move to the next goal.  If you truly hated the race and don’t want to run anymore…don’t.  Take time away and focus on things you do want to do.


So yes, while some runs are terrible, you shouldn’t ever put all of your eggs in one basket. This isn’t limited to running any hobby from sports to even job-related. Bad races and terrible runs happen to everyone and they are part of the sport. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about them.

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Question for you: How do you get over a bad workout, run, or race?



  1. Bad runs are inevitable. They might be caused by injury or the weather or whatever. You just have to put them aside and believe the next one will be better. Otherwise, it’s just an excuse to stop.

    1. So true it’s so important to believe the next will be better or at least learn something from it.

  2. I had a really bad race at the Honolulu Marathon last year.
    I’ve figured a few things out as a result of that experience and I think I’ve addressed my issues.
    We’ll see, I’m running it again this year!
    I think getting over yourself and learning something is the best you can do.

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