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  • Writer's pictureBetsy

How to “get over a bad workout” 😰

Sometimes you sign up for a barre class or a CrossFit session or plan on attacking a hard track workout and. Things. Do. Not. Go. Well.

This blog is written in the spirit of that moment.

First thing I recommend if you have a “bad” workout is to take yourself out for a latte or some lovely fresh squeezed juice and a warmed baked good. Sometimes the solution is a simple change of scenery, some caffeine, some hydration, and simple carbohydrates. Maybe a 20 min chair nap is just the ticket, too.

Then, if the feelings of disappointment are still swirling around in your body (because, side note, feelings are just sensations in our bodies), then let’s look at the thoughts you are producing and the thoughts you are choosing to believe.

Let’s set some parameters for this discussion. Let’s agree (or humor me with agreement) on the following concepts:

*A bad workout is just a thought. Just like a good workout is just a thought. There is no universal agreed upon scale of what is good or bad in terms of athletics and fitness for everything single human on earth.

*We all have thoughts. We all have thoughts at times that our workouts may not be a productive as we would like them to be. Even Olympians. Even professional athletes. We all struggle with internal critics.

*We have the power to ignore the thought that our workout was trash and think something better like, “I’m glad I took it easy today. My body is craving rest. Next time I will be more recovered and ready to go again.”

*Even if everyone on planet earth agreed that your workout was pitiful (this would NEVER happen, obviously, but even if it did) - you are still allowed to disagree with that assessment based on the fact you are a human being living a human experience and nothing is ever perfect.

Quite frankly, you will always have times/days when you feel tired and unmotivated.

This is because you are not a machine.

The longer I experience life as a runner, I find that the more competitive the runner, the greater the frequency of the fatigue feelings, but also the greater the ability to overcome these obstacles and not let them derail them from working towards their desired result.

These feelings don’t have to mean that you are slipping/becoming “out of shape” or that you are a bad person or need more discipline or that anything is wrong.

If fact, everything is normal.

*Again, it is worth repeating that a “good” workout is also just a thought and doesn’t really mean anything about you as a person.

I will say that again.

A “good” workout does not mean a “good“ person.

We are not out here becoming sweaty messes to earn our worthiness as humans, ok?

No need to hustle for acceptance or self-love.

All that stuff is an inside job and simply running fast (or lifting heavy, or eating very healthy, etc) does not make you a better person. That all comes from your heart, sweetie.

My favorite poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling addresses this issue in the phrase:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

The most successful athletes I know are able to be thankful when things go their way, but also do not get hung up when things do not.

Everything is ok.

We are humans here on earth having a human experience.

Embrace all the ups and downs of your journey – they are all important in making you unique and a champion in your own way.

If this thought work sort of blew your mind and you are interested in looking under the hood of your own brain, I’d like to invite you to check out my Faster 5K by Fall life coaching for runners program.

This four month one-on-one coaching package will help guide you through you limiting beliefs about yourself and your running and will help you get to a happier you and a faster 5k race result by fall or your money back!


for more details or email to set up a free consultation call to see if this program is a great fit for you and your goals. I’d love to help you become the strong, confident, and less anxious athlete I know you can be!

Stay well, FitFooters!


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