Hi all! Hope you all are having a wonderful week. I’ve been feeling better this week, and I think it is because I have really focused on getting back into a routine. More on that to come later this week!
Today I wanted to talk about running! Specifically, what to do when you have a disappointing race. I myself have had a couple disappointing race, Chicago 2015, and my husband just had one himself. He is currently working on his Boston recap so hopefully I’ll have that for you soon!
Last year in Chicago, I went in knowing I wasn’t in the best shape of my life and while I did still manage a 3 minute PR, it still was not the race I really wanted and not the goal I was going for.
So, what do you do when you train for months only to be disappointed at your race performance?
Regardless of if you got your PR or big goal, you still went out there and gave it your absolute goal! Sometimes we become disappointed and forget that we still need to celebrate! After your race take some time to be proud of yourself for your hard work. Not all races are going to be perfect, but you deserve to celebrate your hard work!
The first thing I always do, once I’ve had time to really calm down, is reflect on the race itself. I go through and try to figure out what mistakes I made: Did i go out too fast? Did I fuel correctly before and during the race? Did I execute my race plan correctly?
There are so many different pieces that have the potential to go south on race day, but sometimes we simply just have an off day. It’s important to recognize any mistakes in order to move forward.
The sooner you learn to accept your performance the easier it is to move past it. It’s understandable to be upset, you’ve work for months for something and when the day came it didn’t work out. However; you can’t focus too much on it. Bad days happen, bad races happen, and the best thing is just to accept it and move forward.
Sometimes when we have a bad race we want to get back out there quickly and redeem ourselves. It’s great to be motivated to improve, but if you don’t let your body recover then getting to your goals is going to be even more difficult.
After Kiawah I didn’t give my body enough time to recover and that was one of the mistakes that lead me to a sub-par performance in Chicago. Recovery is a vital part of training for any race, so let your body rest!
Create a Game Plan
Now that you’ve given yourself time to recover and have reflected on your performance it is time to figure out your next game plan. If you already have a race planned, then you know how much time you have. However, if you don’t have anything else on the calendar figure out a good time to schedule your next race.
Write down a plan – figure out if you want to use a different training plan, work with a coach, or simply just need to be adding in extra strength training. It’s obvious that running isn’t an easy task, but sometimes it’s important to switch things up in order to avoid a mental block in your training. Plus, sometimes your body just needs another type of stimulus.
Manage Your Expectations
The scary and fun part of racing is that it all comes down to one day. Going into race you can be in the best shape of your life and still have a bad day. Every now and again we get lucky and have perfect weather, perfect performance and everything goes our way.
If you go in with realistic expectations a bad race is a bit easier to swallow. It’s still tough when you’ve worked hard for something and fall short but be confident in the fact that you know what it takes to get there and you’ll have another chance.
Celebrate the good races and be prepared that some days you can come up short. That’s the beauty of racing and what keeps us working for more.
One race, or even a set of bad races, isn’t the end of the world. They can also be a great way to help you realize some areas you can improve it. Take them for what they are allow them to help you improve!
What was the last disappointing race you had?