It happens to the best of us. We head out for a run and it sucks. Heavy legs. Bad attitude. Shortness of breath. Heart beating out of chest. The impulse is to stop, turn around 180 degrees and head for home. Why put yourself through the torture?
Just like we have bad hair days, we have bad run days. Without the shitty days, how can we truly appreciate the amazing days?
In the midst of our most horrible run, what should we remember? That’s simple.
1. No matter how crappy you feel, you made it out the door today, i.e., you are doing more than those people sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru waiting for their Egg McMuffin (Mmmm….eggs).
2. Sucky runs are building your mental toughness. Sometimes the runs that feel the most amazing after the fact are the ones that are the most hard won. The next time you are challenged on a run you can draw on this experience.
3. 99.9% of the time a bad run is followed by an amazing run. This is a documented fact since 400 B.C.
4. This nightmare will be over soon and you have the rest of the day to not be running.
5. One bad run does not define you as a runner. Get over it and move on.
6. A horrific run is better than no run at all.
7. There might be a donut available to you later in the day.
8. It’s either your thoughts or your body giving you grief. If your brain is psyching you out, simply tell it to shut up and ignore it. If your body is tired or achy, slow your pace a bit, stretch for a second and know that as your warm up you will loosen up. Every step forward is a step closer to the end of this agony.
9. If you are suffering because you are hung-over from food or drink, don’t stop. Often times running cleanses out some of the toxins and you will feel better afterwards.
10. Think (but don’t obsess) about why you feel the way you do. Are you overtraining? Are you sleep deprived? Does your diet suck? If you can pinpoint something specific, then address it. If not, then just know bad runs happen and this too shall pass.
11. Remember that even a bad run is giving you some sort of stress relief and is burning a decent number of calories.
When was your last crappy run? Last week. I felt like I didn’t have time to be running that day. My gut hurt. I was starting my period. But then I found a parakeet and felt better.
What helps you get through a horrible run?