Why your worst run could hold the secret to your best race!

Have you ever had a long run during training that was absolutely atrocious? In fact, the run was so bad that you actually questioned your running abilities. You might have even questioned whether or not you were going to complete the training required so you can be prepared for race day. Fear not, you’re not alone.

Three types of long runs

During training, your long runs tend to fall into three different types of runs. These runs can be categorized as effortless, average, and bad.

The effortless long run

3rd Run With Heart Half Marathon Race - Worst Race
3rd Run With Heart Half Marathon Race

When you experience an effortless long run nothing can go wrong. You feel like you can run forever. You might even be running so well that you go ahead and run an extra mile or two because you’re feeling great. The music is got you in your running groove, the temperature is spot on, and you’re energy levels are rocking. As soon as it’s done you’re posting a pic with you framed highlighting your rocking run. These are the runs we hope that all of our long runs fall into. Although this is the ideal running condition for a race, this isn’t the run that will prepare you for your race.

Average runs

Your average runs are where most of your logged miles will naturally fall into. You’re putting in the miles, logging it during your daily training requirements, and resting up for the next day. You don’t have to fight your mind and body to put those running shoes on and head out the door. It almost feels as if your mind and body are on autopilot. These runs are the runs that will get you to the finish line especially when building your base and long runs. We need these runs – a lot of them!

Bad runs

It’s sometimes hard to relate to other runners out in the world when you have runs that are just horrible. It’s rare for people to actually post their most shameful runs. I tend to turn this on its head. If you post a bad run I think it shows people that you are actually a “real” runner.

Hold on, don’t leave yet, I’m not saying that I don’t love seeing people crush PRs and do

One of my "worst runs"outstanding things. Seeing people kick butt in a race gives me motivation – and it should. I’m merely saying that sometimes as a new runner, it’s much easier to relate to someone that isn’t eons ahead of you in skill and effort with flawless posts about their running careers.

In my opinion, when you battle through these horrible runs, you’re actually building yourself up and finding strength. You’re testing yourself at your weakest point and if you survive, If you finish your run like you started out to do, you will strengthen your grit, determination, and perseverance. You will know what it feels like to be running on that last string of energy, about to fade away. Somehow, you muster enough strength and you fight both your mind and body to finish the run. This is where your best runs come from. Your mental strength and tenacity are built here! If you can make it through these runs you will go on to accomplish amazing things.

If you’re continuing to have bad run after bad run and you’re seeing a pattern you might need to take a closer look at your training schedule. I wrote two posts that layout 5 questions to ask yourself after a bad run and 3 things your half marathon training schedule doesn’t show you.

Don’t quit!

Don’t quit! Adjust your schedule if you have to, and don’t look back!

In the running community, we need to help one another and give support where needed. My personal best run is someone’s worst run. My worst run is someone’s personal best run.

Coach Scott is a published author and RRCA certified running coach (Level 2). He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 14th half marathon race. 

 To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor CLICK HERE.

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