Do you ever have one of those running days where you feel slow, fat, and tired? Your legs won’t move, they feel like lead, you are struggling just to keep yourself going. You glance at your GPS and… “is this thing even working???”
Okay, no big deal. The next run will be better. We all have our off days, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. And yet, the next run feels about the same. And the next. Then the worry starts to set in. What if I AM getting slower? Fatter? Run down and tired? What should I do?
Personally, I like to make excuses. Or rather, explanations. It was really hot out. I was running a harder route. I’ve had a busy week and just was a little tired. There are a lot of valid explanations of why I just had the slowest, chunkiest, most lethargic run. Ever.
Sometimes it’s enough to just leave it at that. Chalk it up to one of the explanations, and trust that things will feel better next time. But another strategy is to actually give the explanations some credit. Do you need to take a few days off to rest? Do you need to cut back on mileage and/or speed?
Once I think I am feeling better, should I go out for a redemption run? Return to my training ready to triumph!!! Uh, no. I like to pick a confidence boosting run. I pick a pace that I KNOW will be an easy pace (and not one of those fake, it’s actually too fast, but “I-swear-it-feels-so-easy!” paces). I pick a short distance on an easy route. I stick to my plan and complete the run, resisting any urge to try and make up for a few bad workouts. No, this run is the “Yes, I can!” type of run, and it’s the perfect way to bounce back from a Slow, Fat, and Tired week.