>General Running>Runner's World Magazine: How did you rebound from your worst race?
For an upcoming article, Runner's World is looking for stories about how you dealt with your worst race or a discouraging key workout. What happened at the race or during the workout? How did you rebound well from a race like that? What did you learn from it? Share your story below, and we'll contact you if we are interested in hearing more.
I just ran again the next day, and the day after, etc.
It's easier to rebound from your worst race than from your worst meal.
I just ran again the next day, and the day after, etc.
^This, after first taking a week off because I couldn't actually walk.
I had a horrible cross country race in high school where my legs and arms felt like lead weights and my heart rate was way to high for my pace. I had been to the doctor the week before and they said I had iron deficiency anemia and gave me an iron supplement to take which provided 2000% of the daily recommended value. The first time I took it was the day of the race and that was a huge mistake. After the race I figured that this was the cause as I had never felt that bad before and that was the only difference. I was only 115 pounds at the time and was basically overdosing on iron. After the race I gave my body some time to work the excess iron out and then got my own iron supplement with a modest 60% daily value and was able to race well the rest of the season. My lesson learned was to never experiment with your nutrition on race day!
Runner's High® - Endurance Nutrition
RW, eh?...so, I cooked up some superfood (likely quinoa and whatever exotic fruit that’s in exactly no grocery stores), then I repeated an empowering mantra, bought hundreds of dollars worth of snazzy running gear, picked a plan, signed up for a charity race in a far off locale, drew inspiration from some imprisoned terminally ill running dogs, cross trained the heck out of the latest cross training trend, and had a hell of a race the next time out.
Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and roguesWe're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
Connoisseur of Cookies
Don't forget about the "Best 5K EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!" training plan.
"C" is for cookie. That's good enough for me.
Menace to Sobriety
I ran a worse one the next weekend, thereby raising the status of my previous "worst" race to "second worst" race.
I drank two cups of coffee, which a recent study shows makes you 50% less likely to be suicidal.
Needs more cowbell!
I stopped running marathons (though I went through that stupid hell 3x before wising-up and vowing to not endure any more of that kind of stupid).
• Do some dus...and some CX...and some tandem gravel...and some podiums...
• 130#s (or less)
• Stop letting my core go to hell
Worst race was a Half Marathon I did last year when it was very humid out. I ran a PW of 2:15:00.
I solved it by driving up to Philly, PA and running another one 2 weeks later: PB (at the time) of 1:55:27.
IE. Best way to rebound from a bad race? Assuming you trained well, just run another soon after. :-) Or like Craig said above, if you do even worse, it'll knock your previous 'worst' race right out of your memory.
You'll either do well and feel better, or you will do worse, and it will replace that previous 'worst race ever'. It's a win-win.
The Plan '15 → /// "Run Hard, Live Easy." ∞
2016 Pre-race photo
Heavy HEAVY rationalization. Would've had a faster time if it was cooler. (Bored the tears out of everyone in earshot with rants about the weather.)
Then I bored me.
Then back to training. I have a marathon to run in November.
4/3/16 --Shamrock Shuffle, Chicago 51:16
4/30/16--Crazy Legs Classic, Madison 52:34
Memorial Day Weekend - Soldier Field 10 1:55:33
8/20 -- Madison Mini(Half Marathon) 2:23:11
9/18/-Ready to Run 20 miler, Chicago Area Runners Association
10/16 Fall 15K, Madison
11/16 -Madison Half Marathon
Who says I've rebounded?
I'm surprised RW would ask this. Don't you just recycle old stories from past issues?
When I have a spectacularly bad race, I go back and re-read an article you all published back in June 1997 titled, "Bouncing Back: Ten Ways to Rebound from a Bad Race" by Mark Will-Weber. I would love it if you all would just upload this article to your website. I've wanted to link to it several times when people have had bad races. My favorite advice is the first item - "Look to Steve Scott". His rule was to give himself an hour, 2 hours tops to be upset about a race. 2 hours is too short for me so I give myself 24 hours. The other steps were: investigate why you had a bad race (thanks to RA, I can go back through my log and make some guesses), set more realistic goals, take a break from running, try something new, do something other than marathons if that's been your focus, race in a different city if you're hung up on a rival, get a coach, do mental training, and get a handle on your nerves.
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
My blog is JT Running DC. It's awesome.
Not dead. Yet.
When I have a spectacularly bad race, I go back and re-read an article you all published back in June 1997 titled, "Bouncing Back: Ten Ways to Rebound from a Bad Race" by Mark Will-Weber.
That is too funny, but don't tell me you actually have the paper issue from 1997! I found the abstract, but it doesn't contain all the details you referenced...
How can we know our limits if we don't test them?