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When Workouts Go Wrong: Strategies for Bouncing Back and Moving Forward

Posted by George Parker on

My long run this past weekend was horrible. There were many contributing factors, but at the end of the day, it was a miserable workout that shattered my confidence in fitness and training.

Today, I had a stellar workout. I ran 8 miles at a pace about 20 seconds faster than my marathon PR pace. It was a challenging effort, further compounded by warmer temperatures from doing the workout under the afternoon sun. This was my fastest 8-mile effort that I can remember and a huge confidence boost in fitness and training. I was nervous going into the effort and doubtful I could maintain the pace. I started conservatively, felt good in the middle miles, and accelerated the last 5K.

What caused the turnaround? I got more than adequate sleep the past two nights. I focused on a carbohydrate-heavy diet and hydration throughout the day. Every night, I did soft tissue work and stretching. All these things must have helped. But some days, you just have bad days. That day could have been my weekend long run.

I am energized and excited about training again. But the nerves maybe never go away. I have a 20-mile long run this weekend at an up-tempo pace, which is making me anxious. My coach gave me some sage advice:

“Don’t be nervous; just take it one mile at a time. Twenty miles is meant to beat you up mentally and physically to get you ready for the 26 miles. Know it will hurt and use that nervous energy as positive energy to prep for the race.”

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