Moving On After A Race Goes Wrong

Three easy steps for getting over a poor performance.

If you’ve run a bad race recently, rest assured–you’re not alone.

Greg Wieczorek, a 2:25 marathoner, said it brilliantly: “Probability theory dictates that I am not going to hit one out of the park every race.” It’s important for every runner to consider the way in which he or she judges their own successes or failures. Cam Levins, a budding Canadian superstar who recently ran 7:45 for 3,000 meters and 3:57 for the mile, said, “you have to have a short memory and despite the world knowing about your poor performance, it is not the end of the world.”

RELATED: Bouncing Back From A Bad Workout

If your body has fully recovered from a race, but your ego is still sore, it might be time to let yourself off the hook. John C. Maxwell wrote a book called Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success. Although the title of Maxwell’s book sounds akin to something my mother would tell me growing up to soften the blow whenever failure hit, I do believe that Maxwell is right and that turning mistakes into stepping stones for success is the ultimate path to improvement. Tim Tollefson, U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, said, “Wasting too much psychological energy dwelling on what could’ve been is a futile habit. So my remedy: Reflect, grow and move on.”

While goal setting is a must, the possibility of not obtaining goals comes with the territory. With success and hard work came the expectation of success, but failure always seems to hit the hardest.

You can either fail backward or fail forward. Let failures be your teachers and help you move forward, especially in regard to racing. On the following pages are three top tips for helping you move on when a race doesn’t go as well as you had hoped.

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