Track 101: Making It Through The Bad Days

(Photo by Chris Sumner)

Every athlete has their bad days. There is no way to really avoid them either.

Bad days are the best learning experiences because in that workout, in that rep, in that day you can see what you're not supposed to do. It's in this time where your flaws shine brightest and when you really have to ask yourself, why do you love to do what you do?

There are going to be days when you hear the workout and you feel totally depressed. You've totally talked yourself out of any perseverance you would need to get through this hard Monday practice. When you're running it's very apparent that you don't want to be even participating in any kind of running. My mom always says when you race it's a reflection of how you practice. So, if you run discouraged in practice, don't be surprised when it transcends into your meets, and trust me it does.

I've had many instances like this in my nine years of running. If anyone knows what bad practices are like it's me. The season hasn't even started and I've already had a few. I can't tell you why you feel discouraged when it's time to run certain workouts, because sometimes I don't even know.

Earlier this week my younger sister said, “When I heard the workout I felt really depressed, but when it was time to run, I just told myself that I've done harder workouts." Now if a 13 year old can have a positive mindset about a workout that that's not the easiest, then why can't I?

pos·i·tive (ˈpäzədiv): with no possibility of doubt; clear and definite.

After reflecting many bad practices that I've had over the years, I can say a key thing to getting through a workout that you don't think you'll survive is, positivity and confidence. If you have confidence in yourself and in your training and just be positive about your situation, there's no way you can't get through. And even after you have a bad day, don't let what happened in the practice before dictate the rest of your practices. Come back the next day and correct the mistakes you can and be positive. The better you do and the more confident you become, it will seem like the workouts are getting easier.

Another thing you have to think about before you let your mind make the decision that you're going to have a bad day is that there are many people who would love to be in your shoes. There are so many people who would like to run the times you run, jump what you jump, and throw what you throw. “Train hard, race easy."

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