I’ve learned one thing in my short time as a Half Ironman hopeful: Training can be exhausting. Running six miles and swimming 1,000 meters seems fine and dandy when I’m chipper at 6am. Throw in a 10+ hour work day filled with meetings and conference calls, and those same training plans seem a bit more daunting.
Last week, like a two year old who doesn’t want to take off his floaties, I almost threw a fit in the pool. I had just experienced a slow treadmill run and was hoping to redeem myself during my swim. One lap in, my goggles fogged up, and I choked on a sufficient amount of water. (I swear I’ve swam before…) I called it quits a few hundred meters early.
Five minutes after leaving the gym, I concluded that the world was ending and that I was the worst wannabe-triathlete that ever lived. (I’ve been know to be a bit dramatic.)
As endurance athletes, we tend to be really hard on ourselves. Heck, we beat ourselves up over missing a PR by a few seconds. Meeting and exceeding our goals is always a priority, and training days are no exception to the rule. I’m here to tell you that one bad training day does not define you as an athlete, and it’s certainly no indication of the outcome of your race (that’s likely still months away).
Here are 5 ways to survive a bad workout:
1. Stay positive: Even if your stride is bit slower, don’t let it get you down. Beating yourself up over a tough workout doesn’t make it easier. Like my girl Kelly Clarkson once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
2. Shake it off: Leave your workout at the gym. Tomorrow is a new day full of opportunities for a comeback run/ride/swim.
3. Don’t be afraid to end a little early: There’s one thing I’ve learned from running and triathlon coaches- proper form is everything. It’s crucial during times of exhaustion and necessary in avoiding injury. Unfortunately, on a tough training day (when we’re too busy pouting to focus on form), proper technique goes out the window. It’s important to realize when this is happening, and either pull yourself together, or end the workout a bit early. One less mile will not ruin your training regimen.
4. Keep your Confidence: Self doubt is such a biotch. Don’t let a bad workout make you question your decision to sign up for that goal race. Keep in mind all of the time and training you have put in, and rock your next workout.
5. Develop improvement strategies: Take a few seconds to reflect on the reasons you had a rough workout. Could it have been caused by nutrition issues? A long day at work? Use your answers to improve your next workout.
With race season right around the corner, I hope these tips come in handy!
Thanks for reading! XO