How do you get over a poor race?

1 to 20 of 41 messages
04/06/2007 at 14:46
Started competing in March this year - Liverpool 1/2 Marathon. Really pleased with 2.06 hours - felt like a proper runner. Confident I could do 2 hours on Sunday at Blackpool as course was flatter. Devastated with 2.32 and all manner of nasty side effects which I can't write down. Absolutely gutted and thinking about hanging up trainers...Can anyone out there help?

Novice runner
04/06/2007 at 14:52
Everyone has bad days Jennifer, you just ask Paula Radcliffe how she got on in Athens! You think how many months went in to training for that one, and she didnt even finish!

Wasnt Sunday really hot anyway? I always struggle in the heat.

Keep smiling, and dont hang the trainers up!!
04/06/2007 at 14:53
At the risk of trivialising it these things do happen. Sometimes at a race, and sometimes on a training run. But yes it is difficult to get over.

Dont hang your trainers up. From what I heard about Blackpool yesterday it was very warm . It can be v difficult to run in heat. My first gnr went really well when my longest training run was 10k. The year after, and after much training and preparation I made a total @rse of it.

Dont give up. You would still be a proper runner at 2:32.

Personally I would enter another race to re-motivate myself.

Good luck!
04/06/2007 at 15:01
everyone has bad race results occasionally, and its hard to not beat yourself up about it. The solution is to dust yourself down and get on with focusing for another one.

04/06/2007 at 15:08
As stoxy said, sign up for another race. It's the best way to get over a disappointment. It'll give you a fresh challenge and make you more determined.

I ran the Boston marathon 15 mins behind my target time, and 12 mins slower than my previous marathon. I was gutted as I'd trained for six difficult months but just had a bad run on race day. It happens. A few days later though I got the bit between my teeth and told myself I'd be back next year. I signed up for another marathon this September and I'm really looking forward to it.

Keep your chin up, and more importantly, keep running.

All the best
04/06/2007 at 15:10
Agree with everything posted here but....
I have been running for 18 months and had my 9th race on Saturday. In the last 2 week have reduced half pb from 1:52 to 1:48 and then 1:45 and 10k from 49 to 47:31... the reason, I think...
started running regularly, a couple of times a week with OH at a much slower (2mm slower) pace than I have been running for months.. I think this has helped..

Could you be trying too hard? When you are new and enthusiastic it is easy to turn every run into a 'race'... thats what I did!

Good luck with the next one!
04/06/2007 at 15:13
Jennifer, I hope you don't give up. I was just going to offer some empathy. I'm a racing novice too and felt exactly the same as you after my first half marathon a couple of weeks ago (Sheffield). I went out too fast, got too hot, ended up run/walking the last couple of miles, really didn't enjoy the bulk of the race and finished in 2.17, which was about 10-15 minutes slower than I thought I should have done.

The cure? A couple of weeks on I've been out for a couple of watch-free, scenic runs whilst away for the weekend...just for the joy of running. And I've remembered why I enjoy it. Even if you can't go away somewhere scenic for the weekend, you could try going for a run somewhere new and possibly attractive and try to put the fun back...

Oh and pat yourself on the back for being able to run a half-marathon at all. If you're a novice, I bet you couldn't do that at all a few months ago. I know I couldn't.
04/06/2007 at 15:20
Been racing for around 15yrs on and off, more so over the last 10 and believe me,bad racing is a fact of life.
Just move on to the next one, for every awful run there will be a race when everything falls into place and you surpass your expectations.
04/06/2007 at 15:21
but well done on the two halves you've completed, thats 2 more than a load of people.
04/06/2007 at 15:31
I was racing (badly) at the other end of the country, but I spared a thought for the poor souls up in Blackpool. You did brilliantly to get round at all, stuff the time.

The best way to get over it is to get right back in the saddle. I recommend a much shorter race!
04/06/2007 at 15:39
just think of it like a bad day at the office - they happen

my missus was gutted for weeks after her (in her mind) poor show at the World Triathlon Champs last year in her age group - first time in GB kit as well........she underperformed to her standards and even coming "only" 24th (of 50) in the World for her group was not enough to console her.........

she came home and won her next event to make up for it but that bad day at the office was a nightmare for her - she was a pain to live with for weeks.....

it still rankles with her nearly 12 months on but she looks back on it and recognises what went wrong so she can eliminate those in the future

so JB - carry on racing - everyone gets bad days
04/06/2007 at 16:06
Jennifer, well done on completing Blackpool on a day when the weather conditions were challenging.

As everyone else has said, bad races happen, and sometimes good races don't result in PBs. I was racing badly yesterday too - a 10k more than 4 minutes slower than my PB - but rather enjoyed it.

And if you had definite things go wrong which slowed you up, you've got something to work on. Over the years, Things Going Wrong have given me lots of opportunities to adapt to overcome those problems, from recognising that I'm not designed to run well in the heat (and therefore should do my target races in winter) to discovering that I shouldn't try to use gels.

Give yourself a bit of breathing space then do another race. A shorter one so that you start off knowing that if it feels hellish it's only going to be for a short time.
04/06/2007 at 16:27
Jennifer - as everybody has said, well done on getting round and try not to beat yourself up too much. While there are often easily identifiable reasons why we have bad days (and the heat/humidity yesterday certainly wouldn't help - and I'm not sure I could take the smell of Blackpool chip shops while trying to race) sometimes it just happens and no amount of stressing will make it better - usually the opposite.

Have a few days off, get rested, then go out without your watch and just enjoy running without any pressure. You're not a poor runner and you haven't become a less good one just because you had one bad day.
04/06/2007 at 16:38
Jennifer, I've done both Liverpool and Blackpool and of the two races, Liverpool was by far the best. Everyone has bad days racing and training. The best thing to do is pick yourself up and don't dwell on it too much. Everyone has a PW at something - use it as incentive to improve next time.
04/06/2007 at 16:39
Believe me, I'm ready to chuck myself into the blender when I have a bad race, which is usually 1 in every 2 races lol.

However, give it a couple of days, and move on... everyone and I mean EVERYONE has bad days... you had one... and it's horrible, but we've all been there.

1). Hang up trainers... waste 3 weeks then realise you miss running and come back having missed training...

2). Get over it and move on... and set yourslef a little 10k race somewhere with no time target and a no watch... just race...

You wouldn't believe how quickly you forget bad races!

04/06/2007 at 17:47
I get over a bad race by telling myself not to be so self-indulgent and to "get over it" and remind myself that there are lots of peeps on the bench with some injury or other who maybe haven't run for months and would relish the chance of a race no metter how crap.
04/06/2007 at 19:45
I didn't run so well at Blackpool either - my half PB is 1.51 but I ran 1.58 yesterday. Don't worry. It was quite hot, which is never ideal, and the course was mentally more difficult than I remember (the long straight to Bispham in particular). Put your T-shirt on and enjoy the fact you did it at all :)
04/06/2007 at 19:53
Go and do your fav run with no watch on - just for fun as fast or as slow as you feel like. Mine would be going to the local woods which involves a long steady hill but when you get to the top and look back down at the view it really shows me why I enjoy running.

If you feel a bit rubbish then just make it shorter. Maybe you were just too enthusiastic and expected too much from your second race.

I set my 800m pb in my 3rd race ever and failed to beat it after about 7 races that season despite training better.

04/06/2007 at 20:02
Jennifer,don't hang up your trainers! I was training for a half marathon earlier in the year and when I went out on a long run,hoping to do 12 miles I had to stop and walk/run home after 7miles and only totalled 10 miles.
I was gutted as I felt so up for it.I posted a "feeling sorry for myself" topic on RW and got so much support that the following week I went out and my long run was fine.
05/06/2007 at 07:52
Thanks for all the brilliant advice guys! Today is another day and now my pride has stopped hurting I'm back on the road tonight - watch free for now!
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