Athletics Magazine

How to Rebound from Your Crappy Training Day(s)

By Brisdon @shutuprun

I thought you might want to see our recovery from a hot 15 mile run last night. I don’t know why we are hiking up our shorts. It just seemed the thing to do:


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Colorado is UGLY.



These next two weeks are peak training weeks for Ironman Boulder. On Sunday, we have a race rehearsal, by which I am totally intimidated. I figure the whole thing should take about 8 to 9 hours.

1. Swim ~3,000 yards
2. Bike 100 miles
3. Run 6 miles

Who does that?

I guess it is to be expected that we all hit lows throughout our training. This looks different for everyone. Some people get bitchy. Others shut down and go to sleep. Personally, I like to cry. I have realized that when I am overwhelmed and cannot think straight, all I can do is cry. This doesn’t happen often, but it did happen on Sunday.

Let me back up.

On Saturday, I did a 12 mile trail run. I fell twice and rolled my ankle once. When I say “fall,” I don’t mean that I gracefully tripped. I mean that I went airborne, the world was in slow motion and I wondered if I could  possibly save myself from the inevitable. Then, I abruptly and violently landed with a “thud” on the trail, where I lay feeing sorry for myself before I assessed the damage. I did this x 2.

The damage (warning: blood):


There is something about falling that makes you feel vulnerable. And, pretty damn stupid. This “scrape” hurt like a mother. I tried not to be a baby, but it stung. This was not, however, the part where I cried.


Fast forward to the next morning. I went to Boulder for the Bare Bones 2 mile open water swim event. I was not in the mood at all for this thing. My attitude sucked. Putting my wet suit on over my pussing knee was gross. As I looked around at all the ridiculously fit and fast athletes, I felt even more not in the mood for this thing.

From the start, I could not get my groove. I choked on water and swallowed enough e-coli to kill me. I had weeds in my face. My goggles came off. I lost my breath and couldn't get it back. In the end, the stinking 2 miles took me 1:12. Good lord.

Then it was time to get on the bike for 40 miles. As I was walking to meet Ken, I scraped my pussing knee injury on someone’s car and ripped off the skin (sorry someone’s Subaru – you have a scab on your bumper). That is when I started crying. Ken asked what was wrong? “I’M TIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,” I sobbed. “The swim SUCKED”, I whined. He told me maybe I should skip the bike. NO! I shoved a Stinger waffle in my mouth and off we went.

After all of that drama, it turned out to be a great ride and I moved on from self pity. The next day was a much needed rest day and I got my shit together.

This got me thinking about the best ways to approach those lows that inevitably come with training.

1. Know it is temporary.
2. Focus on all you have accomplished so far.
3. Take a rest. Back off from training a bit and get some perspective.
4. Cry it out, then move on.
5. Wine/whine
6. Bitch to a friend who will reassure you that what you are doing is hard and you deserve to fall apart.
7. Don’t read too much into it.  One “bad” training day doesn’t define you.
8. Write about it on your blog so other people can tell you they have low points too.


Make me feel better. When’s the last time  you’ve fallen (running or otherwise?)

Ever hit a low in your training?


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