Everyone has bad races from time to time in their running career. It's not about the bad results, but how you bounce back from them. Here are 3 ways to cope after a bad race.
Here are 3 ways to cope, get back on track or encourage your athletes after a bad race:
- You can be upset — but not for too long. It’s probably good that you’re upset – it means that you care. However, after a day or two, it might be a good time to move on. Since your body is probably tired and worn down, replenish on rest and fun. Go grab your favorite burger and ice cream and do something non running-related with friends. It’s important to control what you can control, like when to eventually get back to training.
- Look at how far you have come. Go back into your training logs and review some of the hard work you’ve done over the last few weeks, months, even years. This not only reminds you that you have a great foundation of training behind you, but that the hard work (despite the bad race result) doesn’t just magically go away. Pick out some things that you are proud of – it could be consistency, the increase of your long run, or the diligence of your weight room training – and highlight these things. It might be great for you to review your training with your coach, to make sure that you weren’t over-doing or under-doing anything, so that for the next race, you’re fresh and ready to go. The RunDNA app does a great job of going over this for you, by using the RPE scale in your daily logging.
- Pick one thing you’re proud of. Obviously, your time or ranking wasn’t what you wanted. But, that doesn’t mean the entire experience is a complete failure. So, be a harsh but reasonable critic of yourself. Try and choose one thing that you thought you did well during the race. Was it your race tactics early on in the race? Was it your courage? Considering how tough the race was, where you succeeded is really indicative of your running strengths.
I hope this helps you get back on track after a rough race or gives you better ways to connect with your running clients!
Blog contribution by Drew Hunter, Business Development, RunDNA; Professional Runner, Tinman Elite; 2x National Champion