You lace up and head out with the best of intentions but your legs feel like lead, it’s too wet/humid/hot/cold, you can’t breathe or you’re just not that into it. What’s a chico or chica to do?
Mostly, deconstruct the run and decide what, if anything, you can do differently next time. To whit:
1. My legs felt like lead. Maybe you just logged a longer-than-usual run or you’ve gone out too many days in a row. Fresh legs are a gift from God that should never be taken for granted, but leaden legs don’t have to force you to scrap your run. Consider doing cross training, shortening your run or slowing down your pace. And get some rest.
2. It was too wet/humid/hot/cold. Other than paying closer attention to the weather before getting dressed, you could invest in better gear or reschedule your run for a different time of the day. Too hot? Morning or evening runs might be cooler; or take it inside if you must.
3. I feel drained. You had a tough day at work, a fight with your spouse or your cat died (yeah, that happened to me today). If you still want to get a run in, keep it basic (no speedwork, long runs or fartleks) and adjust your expectations to accommodate your mood.
4. You’re sick or one of your offspring is ill. Give yourself a pass. Unless your name is Kara Goucher, you’re probably not a professional runner and one run’s not going to make or break your overall plan. Really.
5. Let. It. Go. This is the most important tip. Just because you had a bad run or two doesn’t mean you should hang up your running shoes. Like with so many other things, dwelling on a bad run’s just a waste of time. Wouldn’t you rather be eating mini brownies from Sam’s Club? I’m asking, for a friend.
When was your last AQR run? (Mine was today. My 14-year-old cat died and it was 77 percent humidity. Rough doesn’t begin to cover it.) What did you do to shake it off? (I’m eating my emotions.)