The first thing that you want to do is to go over the race in your mind and figure out what went wrong. Was it the weather on race day? Do you not train as hard as you should have? Did you go out too fast? Were you just feeling bad that day? Was the course tougher than you thought it would be? Did you eat something that you shouldn’t have the day before. Figuring out why the race didn’t go as planned is important so that you will not repeat it again for your next race.
Make sure that you make notes about the race in your running log. As you go back and review past races, you’ll see what you learned from that racing experience. Having this written down that you can review later will definitely be a help.
Talk to other runners about your race. Every runner has had one of those races. Talking with others about their experiences will make you realize that you’re not alone – and they may even help you with what went wrong.
Register for another race as soon as you can. Don’t let that bad race keep you from getting back out there. Getting your mind set on training for another race will help you to forget that bad one and concentrate on your next race. Having that bad race is a great motivator for training hard for your next one.
Just remember that even the professionals have bad races, also. I’m sure that you’ve read stories about runners that have a bad day – even at an important event as the Olympics. So, remember that you’re not alone. All runners have those days. The most important thing is to mentally deal with it and not let it keep you from entering other races. Hopefully if you have one of those bad race days, these tips will help you to get passed it and on to your next – and successful – race day!