alsoran runners Bad runs are good runs

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Bad runs are real “goody bag” stuff!  Don’t be put off by those terrible runs you may have from time to time.  Those runs where everything seems to go wrong.  You can’t find a decent rhythm, you’re feeling sluggish.  It feels like you are running with the hand-break on.  Sections of the route that you usually find easy have now become fiendish for no apparent reason.  These bad runs could also have been brought on by physical or environmental conditions.  You have a cold, or an injury or it could be a really hot morning, or a really cold one with rain and/or wind and/or hail.  You could be really stressed out owing to a work or home situation.  All these could be contributing factors to your having a bad run

There may be times when you just feel like throwing in the towel, or in running terms, bailing!  Please don’t!  Hang in there.  Set yourself manageable goals like running from kilometre board to kilometre board or from lamppost to lamppost, or running for 5 minutes then walking for 1 minute.  Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward.  It doesn't have to be pretty!

Just stay in the game!  Why?  Well let me explain why bad runs are good runs.  The prize for finishing a bad run is mental strength.  Once you have showered, refuelled and rested you will be able to reflect on your run.  Think about how you felt during the bad run, what the contributing factors were and what you did to counteract them.  Most of all remember that you did finish the run. You were successful!  Now store this information in your "mental goody bag”.  Come Comrades race day, you may find yourself in a similar situation (always a good chance of that as you are on the road for 10 hours plus!).  Don’t panic!  Dig into your "mental goody bag” for a similar situation.  (By the time you get to race day your “goody bag” will be full of experiences!)  Pull out that past experience and use it!  Remember that you have overcome the situation before, you did finish that run!  That is a huge positive and you need as much positive influences as possible.  If you could do it before, you can do it again.  Hold on to that thought and finish your race!  In a nutshell, bad runs are good runs because we learn from them.

Key words: running, bad runs, good runs, mental strength
Internal links: It doesn’t have to be pretty, mental goody bag, Comrades
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website



Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008
alsoran@webafrica.org.za