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Bouncing Back From A Bad Workout

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Feb. 5, 2014
  • Updated Feb. 6, 2014 at 7:22 AM UTC

Learn how to identify the issue and take the right steps to get back on track.

The anticipated physical torture of marathon training is enough to keep most sane people away from training for the vaunted 26.2 mile distance. However, what most non-marathoners don’t realize is that the mental anguish that accompanies marathon training can often be a more difficult foe than the physical grind of running countless miles.

After a string of rock-solid workouts, just one bad run leaves even the best marathoners shuffling home on their cooldown with their head down in despair. The thought process on these dreaded days is the same whether you’ve run 2:14 or 4:14. “Does this mean I’m not fit? Am I overtraining? Do I need to change something in my training?” are often the thoughts that pass through many a marathoner’s head.

Fear, frustration, and self-doubt. This swirl of emotions can be enough to drive a runner crazy and often stick with you for days after a bad workout — bleeding negative thoughts into subsequent workouts and creating a downward spiral of bad runs.

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So, how do you deal with a bad workout? How do you pull yourself out of the marathon funk in the middle of a training segment, when the mileage is high and the end is not in sight? Let’s take a look at the three most common reasons for having bad workout, how to recognize which one is afflicting you, and how to press reset and get back on the right track.

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FILED UNDER: Recovery / Training TAGS: / / / /

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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