Dealing with Running Failures

Every runner will experience a running failure. It’s inevitable. Just because you have a goal of running a three hour marathon does not mean that you will actually run three hours Just because you have trained hard for the last two months does not mean that you’ll be immune from an injury that wipes out your training plans. Here are some of the best ways to deal with running failures.

Re-Evaluate You Goals

It is important that you set realistic goals. Don’t expect to run a 2:40 marathon if you previous best time is 3:40. Setting such an unrealistic goal does nothing but set you up for failure. Instead, set intermediate “stepping stone goals” that eventually lead to your ultimate goal.

Refrain from Negative Self-Talk

After failing to reach a goal, it is so easy for runners to engage in self-destructive thoughts, including: “I’ll never reach my goals,” “why do I even bother in running in the first place,” or “I simply don’t have it anymore.” It is important to stop dwelling on the running failures. Thinking about failures makes you feel terrible and undermines your running; it does nothing to make you a better runner. Rather, see what you can learn from your failures and make changes in your training.

Don’t Be Afraid to Listen

After a running failure, it can be very difficult to take advice from anymore. Many runners become hardened in their routines and have no interest in changing. Whether it be a coach, your fellow runners, or a family member, seek out advice and listen to what people tell you about your running. It can be so difficult to self-diagnose a training problem and sometimes a proper diagnosis can only be made by a third party. Try not to be defensive and really listen to the advice even if it is not what you want to hear.

These tips will help you deal with the pain of a running failure and forge ahead as a better runner.


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