By Heidi Peoples
Spring has finally arrived! For many runners, Spring is a great opportunity to test your fitness and see if you’ve worked hard enough throughout the dark and cold winter months to reach your racing goals for the year. If you haven’t run your first race post-winter yet, most likely you will within the next few weeks.
The first race of the season could have very different results. You may be pleasantly surprised with your present fitness level, or you could be discouraged by a disappointing result. Favorable results lead you looking forward to the upcoming season and excited to get out the door to run. However, what happens if the race you have been training for doesn’t go so well?
What happens if you aren’t in as good as shape as you thought after a difficult few months of winter training? Here are some tips on how to handle a disappointing race:
- Look over your training log – notice anything different? Think of the various factors that may have influenced your run – the weather, hydration, nutrition, sleep, a cold, etc. Make a note of any striking difference, and learn how to prepare better next time.
- Realize everyone has bad races. This could have been your “off” day. Don’t dwell on it. Learn from the experience, and set new goals.
- Relax and don’t force a good race. The more pressure and stress you put on yourself, the less likely you will be able to get over the setback mentally.
- Join a running group, or run with others at least once a week. This will create a more social, fun and relaxing environment to help lift your spirits.