Let’s keep it real. It happens to all of us. Experiencing a bad workout / run is frustrating and sometimes irritating because most of the times it happens out of the blue. Of course it has happened to me before and I’m not going to lie: It’s super annoying. But why do bad workouts happen to us and what should we do when we experience them?
Follow my bad workout advice and you will be 100% prepared the next time you will have a bad workout experience.
Bad Workout Advice: Real talk
As runners we spend a lot of time on the road. Of course we are expecting great results. But it’s pretty unreal to expect that every run will be amazing. Bad runs, or bad workouts will happen eventually and it’s part of the journey to whatever you are training for.
My next goal is crossing the NYC Marathon finish line in November this year which is why my training is pretty tough right now. Beside my full time job, my work for the blog, gym sessions and a private life running has become an even more important part of my life right now. Last weekend I went for my long run and here I was: Struggling. Dehydrated. Feeling absolutely horrible at mile 3 already.
Why do bad runs happen?
Was it time to change my routine? Am I overdoing it already? I have to admit that I’m pretty competitive and a total perfectionist. There is no half way for me. I’m all in or not at all. Same with marathon training. I kind of knew why my legs felt fatigue so early on and why I had to walk back the last mile of my run after I had to stop the workout. Any of the following might be a reason why we struggle sometimes and a bad run happens:
#Not enough or bad sleep
I’m having hard times falling asleep sometimes and I’m also waking up several times at night. So less sleep is always bad for the energy you need for your training. For us runners it’s important to give our bodies enough time to fully rest. If that’s not the case you will find yourself having issues keeping up the hard work long term.
My bad workout advice is to make sure that you sleep enough and let your body recover. Melatonin does help with sleeping problems by the way.
#Running out of gas
Fueling properly is the key to make your legs moving as you want them to. I ended up having a tough run last weekend because I was completely dehydrated. Especially before long runs it is important to drink enough water the day before and also right before your run.
Are you eating enough calories to fuel the type and amount of calories you’re burning during your exercise? It’s very easy to forget about that. While fueling make sure that your food is high quality (no fast food, or high in sodium food) and has not too much or better no sugar at all. My diet contains vegetables with unprocessed carbs like brown rice or sweet potatoes and lean meat.
#Too much too often
Rest is key. We all know that. Not always our body let us actually feel, that we need a break. We just keep going. One tough workout follows the next and for me I also have to deal with both bodybuilding and running. I’m basically heading from one soreness to the next.
My bad workout advice is that you should take the time off you’re supposed to and not doing too much too often. Also don’t do your harder workouts back-to-back. Give your body the time to rebuild and come out stronger.
#Hit the gym
I know that some of my hardcore running buddies don’t care at all about weight lifting and strength training. From my own experience I can tell that hitting the gym and working on my muscles has made me a stronger runner. Of course if your focus is running only you don’t have to hit the gym as much as I do and lift the heavy weights, but decent strength training will help you a lot.
Check out my leg workout for runners if you want to do it outside instead of going to the gym. My bad workout advice is to work on your core, focus on small stabilizing muscles and increase your overall strength. You will see how strong you will become when your runs are getting tough.
#Having a bad day
From my overall bad workout experiences this is the most common one. We are humans and life sucks sometimes. Heartbreak, trouble at work, stress or the time of the month for us women – we are all having bad days once in a while. My bad workout advice when you are having a bad day is to fight yourself through it and then get over it. There will be a better day. Tomorrow. And then your run will be great again.