I was talking to someone the other day who said he had a ‘bad run‘…
…and I thought to myself (after not having run for almost 4 days)….
‘It wouldn’t have been as bad as the run I (didn’t) do yesterday.’
Scared by the possibility of a hip flexor injury, I’m trying to take time out from running where I can, so that I can let my legs recover and so that I don’t aggravate my hip flexor. it’s been ok, but I don’t want to over do it and am trying to allow it to rest where I can.
I asked him to explain why his run was bad… and he said that first of all his phone conked out…so he couldn’t tell how far he had gone…. then he thought he’d done about 3.5 miles so he turned about, with the expectation that he’d run 7 miles all together.
A little mapping at home … and queue his disappointment – he ran ‘just 6.6 miles!‘ when he’d wanted to run 7 miles!
I felt like I didn’t really know what to say to this. I know this guy has dealt with injury over a long period before, and I know he’s a sensible sort of guy… so why be disappointed with 6.6 miles?
I said to him that he shouldn’t be disappointed with 6.6 miles and that it was more like a great run, not a bad run… but I’m not sure how much he listened. he’s maybe just too focused on getting to this particular distance in this particular time so he can challenge himself and train to run even further (and perhaps faster!)
Looking at the bigger picture – there are so many people who are not able to run… be it because they’re ill, unfit or injured. I’ve been injured and I know what it’s like to not be able to run. I also know what it’s like to enjoy each and every step in the sweet spot.
For me, there’s (almost) no such thing as a bad run. The only bad run I can think of is one where you get injured (very dehydrated, very very lost or perhaps run over!) as a result of your run.
If you think it was a bad run.. I think you should change your attitude and ideas and look for reasons why it was a good run.
If you don’t run as far as you expected – that’s still a good run!
If you’re running and you have to walk – that’s still a good run!
If you take longer than you expected to do a run – that’s still a good run!
If you get lost off your expected route and eventually find your way home without (too bad an) incident – that’s still a good run!
🙂 Get my drift?
Think about when you didn’t run or when you couldn’t run. Think about others who can’t run… and do it for you or for them. Feel good to just be out there – enjoying your run!
Make the most out a ‘bad run’
Whether your brain is talking negative to you as you run, or you body is feeling aches and pains… you have the power to make what you think is a bad run… into a good run. Set your goals and ideas of what a good run is at a realistic and achievable place.
Don’t always make your goals time based – why not spend some time socialising with friends on the run? Or aiming to run within a certain heart rate zone to take it easy or challenge yourself?
If your brain is telling you you’re having a bad run… change what it’s saying to you. Take in the surroundings and the atmosphere, the sun and fresh air. You can choose how you’re going to feel on a run. Be grateful for what you’ve got and how far you’ve come. Be positive and you can do it.
If your body feels like it’s falling apart, then listen to it. You will probably know your body by now… if it’s a quiet little niggle and it doesn’t annoy you, you can maybe run through it. But if it becomes a sharp pain, or if the pain gets worse, it’s may be a good idea to stop your run. There’s nothing wrong with walking, and in fact it might do your body good to get the rest. And if your body is tired before or during your run, perhaps rest is more important than your run? You could take an extra rest day or if you are out mid run – you could cut your run short.
There will always be another day for a run where you can choose to make that run a great run – don’t let the risk of injury or have a training plan which is set in stone so that you feel bad about every missed half mile!
Don’t be hung up on things that in the grand scheme of things don’t really matter – get your gear on, lace your trainers up, get out in the fresh air, smile and enjoy your run! There will always be time for you to run… you just need to choose to make the time.
My advice on how to enjoy your runs (and turn your ‘bad runs’ into good runs?
Enjoy your runs, no matter how fast or how far you go.
Smile and be grateful for every step you’re able to run. 🙂