The Bad Run

Snoopy Where Am I Going by Charles SchultzEver had a run that sucks? I mean, really sucks? One of those where you doubt your ability to run even one mile.

This was me on Tuesday – 7 miles with heavy legs running slower than I have for a long time.  I wasn’t ill and I’m not injured. This run sent me into the dreaded downward thought spiral. Doubt. Fear. A bit of an existential crisis. Yep, it’s all there.

But over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with runs like this and try to switch my headspace from the emotional to the rational. It becomes a little conversation in my head and goes a little like this –


I can’t do this

Now that’s an interesting thought, ‘Why can’t I do this?’ – Do I need to tweak my training, my diet or is it just on off-day – everyone has them.


Who am I kidding running another marathon?

I remember marathon 1, a frigging disaster, but I finished. If I could get through that, I can get through this. And we’ve all had shit we’ve had to deal with in our lives, this is minor in comparison.


I’m so unfit

Hmmmm, how I love this one! Over the last couple of weeks I’ve completed a half marathon and a 16 miler. Yep, only a runner would think this way. It’s crazy talk.


This is a waste of time

Building up the miles is hard work and sometimes it’s going to suck. I’m doing this because I love running, though sometimes not so much, and everything and everybody it’s brought into my life. I can’t imagine my life now without it.


Just give up

Bugger that. I think this might be where my stubborn streak comes in.



This isn’t always so easy to do. On Tuesday I let myself be a real grump for a while, acknowledged that I was feeling how I was feeling and then went through this process. And you know what? Within a few hours after that I started feeling a little better.

Some runs suck and for me, it’s happening a little more often simply because the miles are building and I’m getting tired. That’s sometimes just the way it goes.

So if you have a shitty run, it happens. I’m sure it happens to all runners at some point. The important thing is how you respond – the most important is getting the next run done, the one after that and the one after that.


How do you deal with runs that don’t go to plan?


(March 2017)

8 thoughts on “The Bad Run

  1. I just draw a line under that run. And tell myself don’t be silly think if what you achieved and kick myself up the bun and go out the next day after a good night sleep xx

  2. Hi Sophie! What you just described epitomizes a post I’m working on about our inner chimps (research from the chimp paradox.) Well done for thinking with perspective, it definitely helps the tough patches…not long now 🙂

    1. Thanks Darren! I look forward to reading your post. The main thing for me is to try and keep this in perspective – I can only do so much in the next 7 weeks, there will be runs that don’t go to plan but working hard on not beating myself up about it! Cheers and happy running!

  3. I just tell myself that it is a bad run. It sucks but it happens. Often a bad run is followed by a really good one and then you remember why you love running. Hope your next one is magical.