When A Bad Workout Is Just A Bad Workout
It may sound cliché, but sometimes a bad workout is just a bad workout. The body is a complex organism with hundreds of complicated physiological processes occurring every second. Combine the body’s unpredictability with a stressful day at the office or hampered sleep and you have the recipe for a tough day of running.
Sometimes, you can easily identify the cause of a bad day — lack of sleep, a stressful work trip, or the start of a slight cold. Luckily, these days aren’t as frustrating because at least you have an answer for what happened and you can quickly put it behind you.
However, sometimes you can’t find any good reason for a miserable workout — you had plenty of recovery and you felt great heading into it. These are the days when you often feel the most frustrated, but they’re also the best opportunity for you to grow and learn about yourself as a runner.
What to do:
When you hit speed bumps in your training that you can’t attribute to accumulated fatigue or some outside source, my recommendation is to “press the reset button”. Envision your mind and body to be like a video game with a reset switch. Press the reset button and wipe the bad workout from your mind and start the next day fresh. In doing so, you prevent the negative thoughts from creeping into your next run and you keep the progress moving forward, not backward.
The two worst things you can do after a dreadful workout are to dwell on the failed run or try to make up the workout the next day. This will only lead to a downward spiral that causes your one bad day to turn into two or three bad days.