Overcoming a Crappy Training Week

6 Aug

There comes a point in every marathon training cycle where everything falls apart for me and I start feeling mentally defeated.  In the past, this has happened as early as like … the third week of training. I guess the glass-half-full point of view would be to look at this as a positive sign that it didn’t happen until the ninth week of training this time around.

Here’s how it went down:


Total of 35 miles on the week.

I have been really nervous about my hamstring.  I’ve been compressing and icing, and it hadn’t been bothering me on slower runs – but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a speed workout.  I decided to skip group on Tuesday and go out on my own to give it a little test run.  I wanted to do a warm up mile, then do a mile or two at 7:15-7:30 pace – just to see how my hamstring held up at a quicker pace, but not a hard enough effort that it would trash my legs.  My hamstring did not hold up.  I held on to a 7:30ish pace for about a mile and a half, then hobbled home.  I was so upset, and frustrated that I didn’t slow it down the second I felt a twinge of pain.  I guess I thought maybe it would loosen up if I pressed on.  I came home and immediately hopped into my compression shorts and iced my hamstring.

By Thursday, it was still kind of bothering me so I took an unplanned rest day.  My mom and I were flying down to Oklahoma to visit family, so it was a convenient excuse to give myself some extra rest.  On Friday morning, I was feeling a bit better so I just did a slow 5 around my cousin’s neighborhood.

I had planned this to be a cutback week, but I knew that my friends in my running group were going out for their first 3 hour run on Saturday.  I was so mentally defeated from the hamstring crap that I decided I would also go for 3 hours, and that might help my confidence.  Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

This was the WORST long run I have had in quite a while.  I was dehydrated, got a blister on my toe, chafed under my arm, had to use the outdoor restrooms twice (gross), my hip flexors and quads were inexplicably sore and cranky, and then I got caught in a thunderstorm.  It was so miserable, I basically walked the last 5 miles home.  Perfect.

So that’s that.  A crappy training week.  In the past, I’ve let them just absolutely destroy my confidence.  I know that I need to just forget about last week and concentrate on the week ahead.  And focus on getting my hamstring back to 100%.  I am just so frustrated that this always seems to happen to me … I know that’s a bad attitude to have, but in the past, I’ve been able to point to inconsistent training as a reason for injury.  This time around I can honestly say that I’ve felt I’ve been training well, had a good base, and have been doing things right for once.  So to be suffering from the same injury as last summer … well, I’m just not in the best mental place right now.

So help me out.  How do you mentally get over a bad training week?



10 Responses to “Overcoming a Crappy Training Week”

  1. senelslant August 6, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    You’re starting to sound like me…haha. Best way to overcome? Bitch and moan via your blog. Get the negativity and doubt out in a therapeutic manner. You’re in a new week, it may be better or worse, but eventually it will get better. And you’re not alone, weeks 3-6 were complete garbage for me and then all-of-a-sudden, week 7 was better and now Week 8 starts with a PR.

    Come to think of it, going through these bad weeks is great mental prep for the races themselves. Chin-up and keep plowing forward! You’ll be great.

    • upstaterunner August 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Bitch and moan via blog: check!

      In all honesty though, sometimes I think I just need to vent. As do we all, I’m sure. Thanks for the kind words and congrats on the PR! 🙂

      • senelslant August 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

        Bitching and Moaning is amazingly positive, especially with the right people listening. You’re gonna rock it!

  2. runner1313 August 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Just press on, and run forward. It’s all you can do. Don’t dwell on the negative. Bad weeks, bad runs, happen to all of us.

    • upstaterunner August 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      You’re absolutely right: dwelling on the negative just makes everything else worse. It’s definitely something I need to work on.

  3. Laura August 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    You’d rather the bad week now than race week correct? As much as they suck, I always tell myself better in training than on race day.

    You know how you are going to get over last week…by running 18 awesome miles with me on Sunday. Prepare yourself–you’ll be smiling!

  4. HollieisFueledByLOLZ August 7, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    I’m sorry to hear that this week of training was not great. I can’t even imagine doing a long run in that weather honestly. As far as getting through hard weeks, I try and tell myself that running is a collection of workouts versus one good or bad workout. You can text me anytime 🙂

    • upstaterunner August 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      I know you’re right but I let myself get mentally crazy sometimes, hahaha. I know one bad run or one bad week won’t mean anything in the long run (no pun intended), it’s all part of the process. Thanks girl 🙂


  1. Wineglass Training Catch-Up | UpstateRunner - September 27, 2013

    […] last left off with my craptastic week of training in Week 10.  You can read more about that here.  At least you can until I decide to delete it and pretend it never happened (kidding, kind […]

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