Blog

4 Ways to Recover From a “Bad” Workout or Race

May 20, 2021

Chaski Coach Megan is a former collegiate runner for the Gophers at University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She pursues a career in worksite wellness after graduating with her Master’s in Public Health from Utah State University. She is originally from Massachusetts, but has lived (and run!) in numerous places. One of Megan’s greatest passions is helping others reach their full potential and connecting them with others. Sheis a certified personal trainer who specializes in strength training for runners and is a Registered Yoga Teacher.

Let’s face it -- we all have bad days sometimes. Whether it’s a DNF in a race, getting passed near the finish line, or a workout you couldn’t hit splits on, there are going to be tough moments throughout your training and racing career. Consider these 4 strategies when recovering after a bad day out on the course:

1. Accept the fact that we all have bad days. Regardless of how long you have been running or how fast you are, no one is omitted from having bad days. Even the pros and elites have DNFs, missed PR’s, and sub-par workouts. Knowing that you are not alone can help to reassure yourself of this. Bad days are simply part of the process.

2. Remember the times you did well -- and take note of those. It’s easy to lose sight of and focus on our failures. Instead, look for the highlights, the moments you have excelled, and think about how to build upon those. Remembering the fact that you do have successful races, workouts, and experiences under your belt can help put things into perspective.

3. See it as a learning experience. Tough days and low moments often teach us far more than our successes. Look at a missed race or workout as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and where the patterns are -- Did you sleep poorly the night before? Go out too hard? Was there outside life stress in the way? Consider factors that may impact your performance, and use those towards your advantage by making sure you address them.

4. Look forward. Rather than dwell on the past, give yourself a day or two to mope if you need it, but be sure not to stay there. Instead, look to the future and what you plan to do going forward to improve. Ask yourself, “what can I do better next time?” and work with your coach or support crew to move forward in a positive direction.

— Megan Flanagan

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