Do your bad workouts derail you? We are human which means not all of our workouts will be good ones. How can you get over your bad workouts and keep moving forward?

Stephanieruns Fitness

May 5, 2019 Newsletter

Overcoming a Bad Workout

Just like you're bound to have a bad day, maybe even a terrible, horrible no good very bad day, you're also bound to have a bad run or workout. We live in a world that tells us to strive for perfection, which can make the not so good runs and workouts feel utterly defeating. I remember several years ago when I was training for a marathon I signed up for a 30km race which was at 6pm on a Saturday. I spent the Saturday morning at a fitness conference doing at least four hours of workouts. When I crossed the finish line of the race I felt defeated, why hadn't I performed better. The truth is I was exhausted and looking at my time now I actually did pretty well. So why are we so hard on ourselves?

I think one of the reasons we are so hard on ourselves is that we strive for perfection. Perfection, in any aspect of our lives is not realistic. It's really not something we should strive for. What should we be striving for? I always tell my athletes to strive for progress over perfection. Are you taking a step closer to your goals every day? If you are that's awesome, but progress is not always linear. Progress can be a jumbled up line, and that's okay. In the age of social media and people posting perfect pictures of runs and workouts it can be easy to forget that bad runs and workouts happen.

This week on twitter I asked how you overcome a bad run. I had several fantastic responses and want to share some.

Holly Target @holly_taggart said "Well it's training. If I could do it perfectly then I wouldn't need training."

Daniel @Spartacus11Run said "Each run is a new chance for a new beginning. Don't dwell on it and go out there and try again."

Joe @Jostradamus13 said "I write down on a piece of paper that I had a bad run, and then I crumple up that piece of paper, and throw it in the trash. That helps me move past my bad run."

Jenni @_jen_mo said "Go out & do a run you'll enjoy- new or favourite route, with friends, favourite music - no time pressure just one you can enjoy."

My favourite quote on perseverance and overcoming a bad run comes from Des Linden. "Some days it just flows and I feel like I was born to do this; other days it feels like I'm trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up, see what I've got and try to be better. My advice? Keep showing up."

Here are my top tips on overcoming a bad run or workout.

  1. Acknowledge it was a bad run or workout. Own it. Write down what happened and why it was a bad workout.
  2. Learn from it. Take what you wrote down about your run and see what you can learn from it. Was it something you ate? Were you tired? Learn how you can set yourself up for success on your next run.
  3. Bad runs happen. You could have done everything perfectly and you still had a bad run. That's okay, bad runs happen. What I find is that you rarely have two bad runs in a row, so don't fear lacing up for your next run.
  4. Ask for help and support. You don't have to sit on the fact you had a bad run alone. Post on social media, be real. You'll find support to help you get past your run or workout.
  5. Practice self care. When we are runners and we are training for a big event running can define us. It can be a huge hit to have a bad run. Step back and practice self care that isn't running. Go for coffee with a friend. Take a bubble bath or enjoy a movie. Do something you enjoy that isn't running.
  6. Remember a bad run or workout doesn't define you. It's not an indication of who you are as an athlete. Don't be afraid to keep showing up.

How do you get over a bad run? Send me a tweet @srunsfitness I've been retweeting and sharing all your recommendations all week!

Leaning Into Courage

This week I watched Jen's Monday Runday video that talked about what to do after your big race. I highly recommend watching it and think it ties in perfectly with this week's topic. After watching the video I ended up in a deep hole of Brene Brown's videos. Brene Brown has a PhD in social work and is a researcher in shame, vulnerability, courage and joy. Brene Brown says you can have courage or comfort but not both. Now to put this into context I've put her definition of courage in the picture to the left.

As I was watching several Brene Brown videos it struck me that her work directly applies to running and training. She encourages people to lean into courage and I think you should lean into courage while you're training. So what does it mean to lean into courage? It means asking for what you need. I know I'm a busy mom of three kids. Right now I'm working on rehabbing my core after my pregnancy. Asking for what I need means asking for time i order to get my workout done. If I don't ask for this time the day will get away from me and I won't be able to get my workout done. Your friends and family aren't mind readers, ask for what you need!

Leaning into courage also means speaking your truth. Right now my truth is I can't run. I'm not there yet but that's what I'm working towards. It also means owning your story and where you are right now. I like to think of this as blooming where I'm planted. Right now I can't run but man can I ever commit to my rehab exercises. I'm also okay with where I am right now. Yes, I'm a trainer and running coach who right now can't run, but I know I'll get there and have fun on the journey.

Leaning into courage also means setting boundaries. I shared on twitter this week that after having my daughter a large race asked me to be an ambassador for them and run a marathon. I didn't think it was a good idea but I agreed to and it didn't go well. My body couldn't handle marathon training so close to having had a baby. This time after having my son I'm setting boundaries, I'm not running or doing any workouts that I'm not physically, mentally or emotionally ready for.

Lastly leaning into courage means reaching out for support. You don't have to live life alone, we are all looking for connection. Reach out to friends, family, your online twitter family for support. I've also reached out for support from my physiotherapist who's helping ensure my return to running is safe. Help and support is always out there but you have to ask for it.

Leaning into courage allows us to be ourselves, to be who we are meant to be. I strongly believe that when we lean into courage, although it can be scary to put yourself out there and to be real you can find joy. I really think that leaning into courage is the perfect way to dig deep into your training and grow as an athlete. Please take some time to consider how you can lean into courage. Send me an e-mail and let me know how you'll be courageous, (based on Brene Brown's definition), with your running this week. I can't wait to hear how you'll be courageous! 

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If you're interesting in a virtual group half marathon coaching program this July to September at a cost of $150 please reply to this e-mail. I'm looking to see if there's interest to run this fantastic program!

You can see the training plans I have for sale in my Training Peak's store. I am also available for one on one coaching, reviewing your current training plan and creating customized training plans. Send me an e-mail to discuss further. (You can reply to this e-mail and I'll get it!)

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

Twitter: @srunsfitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.