Something different for breakfast:


Whenever I made brown rice, I cook several cups at a time because it takes SO long to prepare.  While browsing my fridge for something fun to eat this morning, I caught sight of my tupperware of rice and thought it would be the perfect breakfast mix-in.


Breakfast Brown Rice


Ingredients (for one serving):


  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 banana, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon hazelnut syrup (regular maple syrup would work, too)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pecans
  • Cinnamon
  • Dash of salt




  • Combine the rice and thinly sliced banana.  Microwave for 30 seconds to get the banana mushy and then press with a fork to combine.
  • Add rest of ingredients and mix well.
  • Pop the glob of brown rice on a very well-greased griddle and cook for 4 minutes or so.  I shaped mine like a pancake and then slowly scraped it off when it was time.
  • Plate and serve with fresh fruit.


And now it’s time for a reader question…


Coping with “Bad” Runs


Annie e-mailed me to ask: “I’m writing in hopes of getting some advice or inspiration in the realm of running. I’m running a 15k on September 26 and it’s my first race. I have no goal for time; I just want to finish the race with a smile! I’ve been training all summer and it’s been going well… until the last week or so. I really don’t know what happened, but my runs have all been a struggle. The training plan I’m on has me increasing my "long" run by a mile each week. Last week was 7 miles and it was AWFUL. My body felt like lead and I had to take multiple walking breaks (and even afterwards was running slooooow miles). Today I had a 5 miler and it was again a struggle. I’m not sure why things have changed, but it’s freaking me out! So, I guess my question is — how do you push past this? Any tips or advice for overcoming the "wall" (whether it’s at mile 5 or mile 20?). Are "bad" weeks part of training?”


Although I wish running could always look like this:

IMG_0010 - Copy

Or like this!


Unfortunately… sometimes racing looks like this:


Or like this (major shivers as I get triathlon flashbacks):


What I mean is… part of the thrill of  racing is that we don’t know how the race is really going to go… until it’s over.  So many factors impact the race, like health, weather, food intake, emotions, and even the course itself.


That being said, having “bad” training runs is a natural part of training.  Instead of looking at bad runs like they are a HUGE problem, consider that bad training runs can actually be EXTREMELY helpful to you as a racer and, if you pay attention to the reasons behind the bad runs, can help you maximize the chance for a successful race.


Several things to consider if you’ve been having bad training runs:


1) Mental Burnout:  When I begin to experience bad runs, the main culprit is mental burnout.  Training for any race, especially a new or long distance, requires a ton of mental dedication.  Although the glory is more than worth it, training can consume a large part of your life for 2 – 3 months (or more).  Mental burnout can manifest itself in several ways:  reluctance to run, sluggish runs, or nightmares about the upcoming race.  My advice:  Pull back on your mileage for that week, either making the runs shorter or taking two days off.  Pop in an awesome running movie like Spirit of the Marathon (you can watch it free on Hulu!).  Additionally, try downloading some new tunes to inspire you during your runs.


2) Pacing Issues:  Another reason for bad runs?  Perhaps you’re pacing yourself incorrectly.  You might be running too fast, too soon… especially if you’re training for a new race distance that requires a new level of endurance.  Try running slower from the outset and taking walking breaks when necessary.


3) Physical Exhaustion: Training Plans are great guides for what you should be doing, but no plan knows your body the way you do.  You might be suffering from minor overtraining by simply doing TOO much, especially if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet a lot.  Similar to the solution for mental burnout – take a few days off and reevaluate your training plan to see if you can throw away a day of “junk miles.” 


4) Poor Nutrition: YOU HAVE TO EAT TO RUN.  Running burns a lot of calories.  You must refuel with a proper diet.  What you put in your mouth during training is just as important as the miles you log in your training plan.  Here are my tips on refueling properly.  I try to eat a protein-rich meal or snack following my runs to help with muscle repair.  Also, if you’re running more than a 10K distance, you might want to experiment with eating during your long runs.  Jelly beans, Gu, Shot Bloks, and Gatorade are all excellent sources of fuel.   You should definitely be hydrating during runs, either by carrying a water bottle, wearing a CamelBak, or using a hydration belt.  You also might want to experiment with taking in electrolytes throughout the day if you’re sweating excessively.


5) Inadequate Recovery:  Food is important.  So is REST.  Rest days are highly valuable and all athletes need them.  Athletes who are training for a new level of fitness or just starting out need them even more.  Do not be afraid to take rest days or to ADD an extra rest day to your calendar if you feel like you need it.  Additionally, sleep is extremely important to training.  Your body cannot repair itself properly without adequate rest!


6) Factor Beyond Your Control: Acknowledge that bad runs might happen because of factors beyond your control, such as weather, work emergencies, or illness.  Try not to obsess about these factors too much!  Life happens.  There are always other races.


7) Nerves: And last, but not least, nerves can really get to you at the end of training and start to mess with your runs.  My personal mantra?  TRUST YOUR TRAINING.  Breathe deeply.  Review the race website.  Imagine yourself doing well.  And RELAX – it’s going to be fun!


Check out my other favorite race-related posts:



What is the common cause of your “bad” runs?  How do you blast through the wall?



  • HTP Dad September 15, 2010, 7:46 am

    I got the first comment!

    • Caitlin September 15, 2010, 7:47 am

      You’re up early!!!

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) September 15, 2010, 7:54 am

    Good advice! Whenever I start feeling heavy-legged and tired during my runs it’s usually because I’m not sleeping enough. I have to remember that training for a marathon is like a part-time job – in addition to all the miles, I also have to make sure I’m eating and resting enough!

  • Jessie C September 15, 2010, 7:55 am

    I love this post! I’m a very beginner runner but the tips are still useful. Thanks!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. September 15, 2010, 7:56 am

    One thing for me that really affects my runs is inadequate stretching, especially after long runs!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 15, 2010, 7:56 am

    Thanks for posting this. I remember on one of my longer training runs (I think it was a 10 miler?), I just felt AWFUL– my feet felt like lead the entire time. It was only about three weeks before my race, so it made me really nervous. But– the next run I had was awesome, and the race was great. Sometimes it’s hard to forget that every run is different, and not every run is going to be easy or enjoyable.

    Have a great day!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 15, 2010, 7:57 am

    *hard to REMEMBER. I haven’t had coffee yet 🙂

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 15, 2010, 7:57 am

    Caitlin this is great advice!

    I think it is important to not let the bad runs get to you. I find that my next run after a bad run is usually awesome. As long as I fuel properly, get plenty of rest, and I don’t push it too hard I am ok!

    My neighbor is a sub 3:00 marathoner (whoa!!!) and he has told me about bad runs he has had, races he’s had to quit, etc. I figure, if HE has bad runs I’m sure everyone does! Just take them as motivation to try again next time and do better.

  • Kristen September 15, 2010, 8:03 am

    My bad runs are usually due to going a little too fast at the beginning and then paying for it later. But, bad runs are a HUGE part of training.
    At this point in my running, I’m almost more scared when I DON’T have a bad training run before a race- I don’t want the random bad run to happen on race day!
    I learn a lot from bad training runs: how to keep going when I’m just not feeling it, that sometimes it is ok to stop and “re-group”, that sometimes 3 miles can feel like 30 (ok, not such a great lesson), but above all- that running is HARD WORK. It is supposed to be 🙂

  • Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 15, 2010, 8:04 am

    LOVE this post – I’ve been going through a spate of bad runs during marathon training – I’m at the 15-16mile stage, and I was really struggling. Even 3 seemed hard! I worked out the reason was crap, worn out shoes, and too fast. Not too fast normally, but since the length has increased, I’ve had to slow my pace down. It’s tough to accept, but it’s helped 🙂

  • Emmanuelle September 15, 2010, 8:08 am

    I’m currently training for a 5k, which doesn’t seem a lot for most of you but is huge to me as I’ve never been a runner. I started running like a month ago, after spending most of my life claiming I would never ever do such a stupid pointless thing 😀

    Anyway, I had a not-so-great training run two days ago, with side pains, difficult breathing, and after some thought, I know exactly why:
    – Bad sleep the night before;
    – I went running after a long work day;
    – When I went out for my run the sun started to set, and I was not really comfortable (running on paved sidewalk…);
    – Didn’t hydrate enough beforehand;
    – Still sore from yoga (usually doesn’t affect me, but with all the previous stuff it played a part)
    – I had to stop halfway to lace one of my shoes properly, ruined my concentration.

    So for tonight, I’m prepared: I don’t know when I’ll get out of the office but if it’s late, when I go running I won’t run on paved sidewalks. I’ll drink a little bit before going out. I’ll lace my running shoes properly. I’m a bit tired so I won’t force and if I have to run slow I’ll run slow. And I’ll be fine 🙂

  • Laura@keepingslimandgettingstylish September 15, 2010, 8:08 am

    Thanks for this post – I’m running my first half – The Great North Run in the UK this weekend and your tips are really going to help with my pre race anxiety! Thank you so much for the motivation. I also love the movie Run Fat Boy Run as a bit of fun – I’m going to watch it at the weekend 🙂

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 15, 2010, 8:11 am

    I love the idea of rice for breakfast. I’m stuck in an oatmeal rut, so next time I make a batch of rice I’ll have to remember to use the leftovers the next morning.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 15, 2010, 8:17 am

    I think REST is one of the most important things in training. I used to barely ever take days off, but I’ve noticed a tremendous difference in my speed and endurance by allowing my muscles a day or two to bounce back. And I think strength training has helped me have more consistent good runs as well!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) September 15, 2010, 8:22 am

    Great post. I think sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between mental and physical factors that make a run bad, but it is oh so important to be able to do so. I think we all have days where two miles feels like torture and other days when ten feels like flying, but finding a happy balance on days where we AREN’T runnnig so hot, and not letting it get ya down, is key.

  • Amanda September 15, 2010, 8:23 am

    I would never think to use rice for breakfast, but really it’s not any different than any other grain. How long after you prepare the rice do you find it is good for?

    • Caitlin September 15, 2010, 8:26 am

      Four days? But I live on the edge.

  • Juli D. September 15, 2010, 8:25 am

    Awesome advice. I still don’t know what caused a few of my bad runs, where my legs felt like lead or my body just felt overall tired. I honestly just try to forget about them when they’re done, I just tell myself “Well, that sucked, but I’d rather have a crappy run than not run at all and pushing through that will make me a stronger runner in the long run (no pun intended).” 🙂

  • Kelly September 15, 2010, 8:27 am

    Oh man, I remember two years ago before my first 10 mile race my last training run was only three miles and I felt AWFUL during it. I remember coming home and feeling so dejected that there would be no way I could finish 10 if I couldn’t even finish three. But I did finish 10.

  • Kristy September 15, 2010, 8:29 am

    Super fun & creative breakfast btw! This post is exactly what I needed to read! 🙂

  • Heather (heather's dish) September 15, 2010, 8:29 am

    my mom used to always make rice cereal for me for breakfast…a little bit of milk, honey, and cinnamon with leftover rice! so good served warm too. your breakfast just took me back!

  • Wei-Wei September 15, 2010, 8:29 am

    I think finding a happy balance is key – we can’t have awesome workouts ALL the time. We also have to know ourselves really well, to know where our limits are, and to know when to push ourselves. I think it almost always comes down to that: know yourself, and forgive yourself. You’re only human.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 15, 2010, 8:31 am

    I love brown rice and I am so with you an making huge batches at a time! Breakfast looks delicious.

  • Devon September 15, 2010, 8:31 am

    I really needed to read this post.

    I’ve got a half marathon in a little over 2 weeks and I had a really lackluster run this morning. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but getting up at 5:45 and completely changing my routine led to a less than inspiring session. I really think that keeping a positive frame of mind is the biggest factor for myself. Physically, I know I can do it. I just gotta stay positive!

    Here’s to better runs here on out!

  • Matt September 15, 2010, 8:33 am

    Great advice here, Caitlin. When I notice that a run or two or three are extra hard and slow, I find it’s almost always due to mental exhaustion and boredom, or more frequently, something like the weather or hills that I didn’t really notice and account for when looking at my times. And you hit both of those!

    One thing I’d say to Anne is that a bad run or two may be part of training. But if it’s a pattern of bad runs, especially if they’re happening near the end of your training when the other factors have had time to wear on you, then it’s likely not just some random coincidence, and you should try to identify what’s wrong and address it (as you did!).

    Great post 🙂

  • Courtney September 15, 2010, 8:36 am

    I have found that when I have a bad run, it’s usually a combination of bad sleep/inadequate hydration/not eating enough protein. When this happens, I try to go to bed early, chug water and make sure to add tempeh to my lunch some how (my current favorite source of vegetarian protein).

    Also, I used to get discouraged by runs that weren’t going as well as I would like, but I made a promise to myself not to take it too seriously but also to make sure I still covered the mileage (even if it meant walking 7 miles of a 10 mile run!) so I would be able to tell myself that I still gave it my all and really, that’s the most I can ask of myself!

  • Lindsey September 15, 2010, 8:39 am

    I have these runs all the time, in fact I once called my sister in tears a week before a race because I had the worst run of my life! One thing that has made a major difference for me is my heart rate monitor. It helps take the attention off of pace and more onto effort. Then if you look back over those 7 miles, you might see that although you slowed down, your effort remained constant. Ditto with all of Emmanuelle’s comments above too. I also try to tell myself there are no “bad” runs, but I know that can be hard to do : )

  • Stacey @ The Habit of Healthy September 15, 2010, 8:43 am

    Another fab & useful post! I have really enjoyed your posts so far this week. I think these are great tips & could probably apply to just general running as well, regardless of whether a race is the end goal. Great tips. 🙂

  • Nicole, RD September 15, 2010, 8:45 am

    Great question from your reader! I think inadequate rest is a huge one for me. Sometimes I’ll think a short run is a rest day, and it just isn’t!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 15, 2010, 8:49 am

    I totally agree- bad weeks definitely come with the sport! When I’m training and I feel like I’m starting to get burnt out, I usually switch up my cardio so that I’m still pushing myself, but in a different way. For example, I’ll spin, jump on the elliptical, stair climber, and sometimes the rowing machine (but not often – I don’t really like it!). Sometimes a rest day is all that’s needed. 🙂

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston September 15, 2010, 8:49 am

    This is great advice Caitlin, thank you! I think my “bad” runs are mostly mental. Just the other day my 4 miles run felt so horrible. It ended up being a great time but I just wasn’t mentally into the run so the run felt “bad.”

  • Tina September 15, 2010, 8:49 am

    What a fabulous question! I think all of those things you mentioned are vital to take a closer look at. For me, I think the mental block and fatigue hit me the worst. I remember reaching a point with my competition training where it felt like it would never end. I dreaded every workout and each one became such a challenge.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) September 15, 2010, 8:50 am

    Great advice to look at the other perspective of bad training runs. It’s all part of training! And a great learning lesson 🙂

  • Sabrina September 15, 2010, 8:55 am

    Something I’ve been using on my long runs as fuel are rolled dates (in oat flour not sugar). They’re high in sugar just like jelly beans and shot blocks, but they’re a natural candy instead of all the processed stuff!

  • Little Bookworm September 15, 2010, 8:59 am

    Your breakfast looks really interesting – almost like rice pudding, but not so pudding like? Hope you have a great day! 🙂

  • Orla September 15, 2010, 8:59 am

    I am in that funk at the moment. Finding it hard to do 3 miles and have a half marathon at the weekend! legs, body and even eyelids feel like lead.
    I have upped my vegetable and “clean” food intake and trying (repeat trying) to up my hydration levels. I am also going to bed at 9.30 with my eye mask and soothing sounds from the ambiance app on my iphone (thanks Catilin!)
    From when this has happened me before, I know that I will perk up soon and things will be back on track.
    I find that a combination of mental stress and over work, dehdration and too much salt in my food will really slow me down.
    I hope that you pick up soon Annie!

    • Caitlin September 15, 2010, 9:00 am

      How awesome is the ambiance app????

  • Orla September 15, 2010, 9:02 am

    Oh I love it!!!! It is funny because it rains a lot in Ireland (it isn’t just a cliche!!!) but I find the rain on a tin roof so soothing!

  • Bria September 15, 2010, 9:12 am

    You know what? I’ve come to embace ‘bad runs’. The kind that leave my legs burning, and my lungs wheezing, and my pace goals crushed. Because I know that feeling is my fitness building. Last week I ran a horrible 8 miles but I knew my next run would feel better because of it. And it did! I hit all my tempo interval paces. So there isn’t something lost, but something gained 😉

  • Amanda September 15, 2010, 9:36 am

    My bad runs are normally due to mentally or emotionally struggling with something. I find sometimes if I’m upset about something it comes out in my run and makes it much harder, although sometimes the run helps me work through it.

  • Michelle September 15, 2010, 9:42 am

    Thank you for this post! I have been running with the goal of a half marathon in the spring and had a disastrous 5k this past weekend that really made me feel down. (a nasty fall before I even hit mile 1, horrible time and walking breaks)So it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this sometimes!

  • Molly @fuelherup September 15, 2010, 9:42 am

    IRON IRON IRON! Women especially have a lot of issues getting enough iron, as do runners, so women runners are especially at risk…my college xcountry and track coach bought us all iron supplements. The “symptoms” it sounds like she’s having, while it could just be an exhausting week, could also be due to being low in iron. I’ve seen it happen where girls who can run a 5 minute mile get iron deficient and suddenly can’t get faster than a 7 minute mile. EIther get your iron tested, or take some iron supplements and see if it helps.

  • lisasfoods September 15, 2010, 9:56 am

    Two things:

    1. I tend to have harder running days when my body is physically tired, and as you said, resting is key. I only run three days a week to avoid mental and physical burnout, and I make sure to have one full day of rest each week.

    2. I love using leftover rice in breakfast. You know what’s delicious? Mix up rice with some coconut milk, cinnamon and clove, raisins, and nuts, and heat it up. Then add some banana and sweetener, and it’s like eating rice pudding for breakfast.

  • Shellybean September 15, 2010, 9:59 am

    Ugh. I’ve had two bad runs in a row! I know why, of course. The first was a 9 miler that I knew would be bad. First of all, I ran 3 days in a row, which I don’t normally do, but I wanted to run on the beach so I ran three miles that Sat., then I had a race on Sunday that I didn’t want to miss- it was just a 4 miler, but since I live in New Orleans and the race is across a bridge, it’s literally the only “hill” in the city and the hardest 4 miles I could possibly do. On Monday (this was over labor day) I ran the 9 miles that were on my training plan, knowing that they would suck. And they did- but I wasn’t too troubled b/c I knew I’d used up all my energy the day before and it was really hot outside.
    The next weekend I had a 10 mile run scheduled. I did everything right and got up early to run but it was a lot hotter than it had been lately and incredibly humid and I just let it get to me and got *really* discouraged and mentally psyched myself out. Plus, I stepped in a puddle at mile 6 and wore holes in my feet by the time I got home.
    But, you know what, it’s okay. It’s getting cooler outside and I only have to do 6 miles this weekend. So I’m just going to stick to my training and believe that things will get better! A lousy run is still better than no run at all!

  • Chelsea at Striking Balance September 15, 2010, 10:08 am

    Interesting breakfast! Looks good though. I often have leftover quinoa or rice and wonder how to use it up fast enough- I might just have to try this one time!

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness September 15, 2010, 10:09 am

    Annie is my SISTER! How awesome to see her question on here!
    What she didn’t mention in her question is that she did 13+ miles up a MOUNTAIN this weekend – not running, but maintaining a very steady hiking pace. Though the hike was brutal and gained 7,400 feet in elevation, Annie kept a smile on her face and kept the rest of our group paced nicely.
    Annie – great question but if your race is anything like the Pikes Peak hike, you’re gonna do great! Caitlin has some awesome tips here as well. Love ya, sister!

    • Annie September 15, 2010, 11:11 am

      Aww thanks sis 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 15, 2010, 10:14 am

    Great tips!!! Especially the rest and nutrition.. things we often overlook or deem not as important!

  • Angela September 15, 2010, 10:21 am

    I think the main reason for my bad runs is usually mental burnouts. I run almost everyday and about once every other week or so I have one day when I just can’t bring myself to run the way I normally like to. I guess that should signal that I need to switch out a day.

    This is a great post by the way. The tips about rest and nutrition are really great.

  • Jess @ atasteofconfidence September 15, 2010, 10:22 am

    My main reason for bad runs is either mental burnout or not allowing myself a rest day. Thanks for the tips!

  • Jennifer September 15, 2010, 10:24 am

    I think another good point to remember is that you may feel crappy on race day too for whatever reason. When you get through the tough training days, you can look back on it during the race and know that you can push through once again.

  • Jillian@ ReshapeYour Life September 15, 2010, 10:27 am

    I love these tips, I’m just starting to run but I’ll keep these in mind when I really start to run.

  • Sarah September 15, 2010, 10:27 am

    Maybe try to focus some time at night on stretching? I’m training for my first half and there were a few runs where my legs felt like lead! I started devoting 20 minutes a night to stretching and it made a world of difference.

  • ashleigh September 15, 2010, 10:28 am

    I usually have bad runs if I haven’t rested my legs long enough. Also if I don’t eat well! One time I had a special k protein bar before a run and I made it like 4 blocks before I had wicked bad stomach cramps and had to walk 90% of my run. Too many chemicals!

  • Jessie September 15, 2010, 10:30 am

    I really love the idea of rice for breakfast! I wish I wasn’t always running out the door for work as I am figuring out what to eat. Maybe I could get a little more creative!

  • Angela September 15, 2010, 10:34 am

    I just wanted to say that I had similar symptoms when training for my first half marathon, but they lasted for weeks and got worse and worse. I got my blood checked and it turned out to be really severe anemia! Taking iron supplements made a huge difference in my runs and energy level! I think if problems like this persist it is always a good idea to see your doc – better safe than sorry!!

  • Camille September 15, 2010, 10:35 am

    For me, it is generally a mental burnout. Try taking a week or two off of running and it just may renew your passion!

  • Gracie (complicated day) September 15, 2010, 10:38 am

    Really good post, and much needed as I prep for a marathon in a few weeks. I’m trying to stay focused but mentally I’m burned out- mostly because I have so much else going on in the rest of my life! I’ve tried to channel that exhaustion and burn-out instead of allowing it to affect my running. I view running as a break from my busy schedule and daily stresses rather than one more thing that eats up my time.
    BTW I also cook lots of rice at once to save time! Usually 3 – 4 cups of raw rice at once!

  • Katie September 15, 2010, 10:41 am

    Oh my goodness I have brown rice for breakfast like every morning because I have a gluten allergy and I have become SO bored of it. This looks so interesting and has inspired me to experiment with it!

  • Sarah September 15, 2010, 10:51 am

    This post is exactly what I needed today. I’m training for my first 5k and today’s run did not go well. I had to walk 3 times and just felt awful. I think in my case, I didn’t get enough sleep or proper nutrition yesterday and that is what contributed to it. It’s nice to know these bad runs are normal and part of the process – and what I need to do to fix it!!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing September 15, 2010, 10:58 am

    My first half-marathon was a bit of a “bad” run. Mostly because it was pouring out! I hadn’t done a long run in the cold rain before and it made things kinda hard on race day. Should I do one again, I’d definitely be more prepared by making sure I’d practiced running in all types of conditions.

  • Jamie September 15, 2010, 10:59 am

    Annie you ARE NOT ALONE!!

    I’m training for a half and am also running a 5K and 10K as a part of my training plan. The week of the 5K I went out for a “quick” 3 miler and ended up walking, feeling terrible and puking when I got home! WORST RUN EVER!! I felt discouraged but I just tried to analyze it. 1.) I started out too fast, 2.) I didn’t get enough sleep 3.) I forgot body glide and the chafing was bothering me.

    Just things that I noted for the actual race day. I tried to just move past it but it was disheartening! I just told myself that I would do the best I could. I realized that I was putting too much pressure on myself to finish at a certain time, or whatever..

    Just relax and you’ll do great! I ended up crushing my old PR two days after that horrible run!

  • Stacey September 15, 2010, 11:04 am

    My bad runs usually come from me being too excited about the run, and giving it my all in the first few miles! I don’t think I’ve ever had a “bad” race, but just interesting ones. I try to learn something from every race I do. Sometimes bad runs just happen..but you know what they say, for every bad run there will be a good one to go with it 😉 Actually–they don’t say that, I just made that up 😀 Haha

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 15, 2010, 11:04 am

    GREAT tips! I always forget about how much my nerves affect me before a race.

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa September 15, 2010, 11:13 am

    Nice tips! I feel like a lot of time hot weather will get to me. Or if I think its too hot I will psych myself out and have a bad run. But normally bad runs are followed pretty quickly by good runs. Just have to stay positive.

  • Amber K September 15, 2010, 11:21 am

    Those are some great tips!

    I’ve noticed other people mention how long brown rice takes to cook… The kind I get takes 15 minutes. Is that long?

    • Jennifer September 15, 2010, 2:22 pm

      Maybe yours is instant? It takes me about 45 minutes to get my brown rice soft.

      • Amber K September 15, 2010, 2:34 pm

        Let’s see…the box says it’s whole-grain parboiled brown rice. So I guess that means instant! Lucky me, because I don’t think I’d ever make brown rice if it took me that long!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 15, 2010, 11:23 am

    Love this advice! I would also add stretching! Even if it’s just 5 minutes before and 10 minute after, it makes a world of difference for me. Before the run, I like to do dynamic stretching as opposed to static, which may harm you if you aren’t warmed up.

  • Jen September 15, 2010, 11:29 am

    I’d add foam rolling to your tip list. It’s SO beneficial!

  • AllieNic (Frisky Lemon) September 15, 2010, 11:34 am

    Thanks for the tips! My bad runs are usually a result of my legs being tired from other things…like lifting. I usually run when I want a day off from crossfit…but sometimes my workout prior to my run day are so intense that I don’t realize how tired I am until I start running..and my legs feel like lead. Rest is SO important…and I’m working on listening to my body to know when I should take a few days off.

  • Danielle September 15, 2010, 12:02 pm

    These are fantastic tips! I’m planning on getting back into running again (read: hoping to) so I really appreciate this. I forsee a ton of “bad” runs in my future 😉

    Glad you’re enjoying Charlotte so much! It seems like a wonderful city.

  • MoniMeals September 15, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Great Post Coach!
    It is only realistic to have a few bumps in the road, right!
    Most importantly is dusting off and getting right back in. :)I also make a killer brown rice or couscous breakfast, yours looks great!

  • Kacy September 15, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Such amazing tips! I’m bookmarking this to look back on here in about a month when I’m FREAKING out. Thanks!

  • Augie September 15, 2010, 12:33 pm

    “Bad” Runs are also great for inspiration during your race. They help build you and prepare you for those tough moments on race day…you’ve gotten through it before…so “bank” your bad training days and cash them in during a bad race.

    If we didn’t have bad runs, we wouldn’t know what goods runs are like 🙂 Keep truckin!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write September 15, 2010, 12:38 pm

    Great tips. I’ve never had breakfast brown rice, but when I was young my mom made me breakfast rice. It was white rice, Milnot (cream) and sugar. Takes me back.

  • Caitlin September 15, 2010, 12:38 pm

    When I swim, bad training days are and have always ALWAYS ALWAYS been due to physical exhaustion. I have either been over-training or not sleeping enough. Rest and sleep work MIRACLES.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 15, 2010, 12:41 pm

    That is great advice – usually when I have “bad runs” a bad attitude is the culprit… or not eating properly that day or even the day before will put me back!!!

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) September 15, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Whenever I make brown rice, quinoa… heck, any grain for that matter I make at least a double batch and then freeze what we don’t use in two cup increments so I can pull them out when I need them. SO much cheaper than buying the premade little bowl things you can micro for a min and a 1/2. Can’t take credit for this idea… saw it on 101cookbooks. SUCH a great idea.

  • Lisa September 15, 2010, 1:06 pm

    Bad runs usually means I’m over training. I learned that the hard way with my recent injury.

    How to you cook your brown rice? Mine always FAILS!

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks September 15, 2010, 1:27 pm

    When you first began to run…way back when a mile seemed a long way, did you encounter any mental blocks about increasing your distance?

    I ran my first 5K (slowly at an average pace of 10:44…but I’m damn proud I didn’t stop!) a couple of weeks ago, so I know that I CAN run 3 miles. I know I can. But since then, whenever I go out for a run, for whatever reason, I don’t seem to be able to pull through without walking. Maybe the race environment helped me, but I need to be able to run without a bib on too, you know?

    I feel like the problem is more than likely mental. I am doing another 5K a week from Sunday, and I don’t care about the time…I just want to run the whole thing again. I also am thinking about a 5 mile race in November, so I need to start increasing my distance. I keep trying to convince myself that I can do these things, and physically I know I can….problem is that my body is one thing, my brain is another!

  • Megan (Braise The Roof) September 15, 2010, 1:48 pm

    I’m not the first to say it, but these are great reminders! I’ve been having some tough runs lately and I’m usually too quick to blame some external factor. I’ve been complaining about the wind (it has picked up a bit with the changing weather) but the lack of sleep I’ve been getting and not pacing myself are definitely things I need to reevaluate!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope September 15, 2010, 1:59 pm

    Great post! I’m still new to running. Learned to run through C25K starting in April, have since done two sprint triathlons. I learned to run during the hottest May-Aug that St. Pete, Fl has ever had, so i sometimes feel like all of my runs are “bad,” lmao! I want to thank you for recommending that documentary. I watched it online this morning and it has totally motivated me. Also, just want to thank you in general for being awesome, you’re totally an inspiration to me when it comes to running, and I love your philosophies!

  • Brigid September 15, 2010, 2:10 pm

    I have a comment on the “bad” run story. When I was training for my first marathon and wondering how I was going to do it, my husband gave me the best advice. He said not to worry about any other run besides the one I was doing right then. So I think when you have a bad run, be thankful that it was a training run and not race day and then shake it off. It’s over.
    When you get stressed out over it, it is no longer fun.
    Best of luck!
    Best of luck!

  • Rebekah @ Rebeltarian September 15, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Just what I needed to hear!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! September 15, 2010, 2:50 pm

    It was like you read my mind, I was just thinking about this subject as I have been training for my 1st 15K over the past 4 MONTHS and recently hurt my knee (Runner’s Knee) and have had to slow down cause if it which has me worried for my race next week but I feel better now…………great tips! =)

  • Joanne September 15, 2010, 3:21 pm

    Great advice for Annie, Caitlin and for any runner for that matter.
    We all have those bad runs and pushing past that point is all part of the mental training. It’s not all physical. Find a quote that motivates you – that gets you thinking “I CAN DO THIS!” and hold onto it when you’re feeling your worst. Keep repeating it and usually, you can push past those bad parts in the training.

  • elaine! September 15, 2010, 4:19 pm

    I think it’s important to remember that long runs are LONG and there’s nothing wrong with taking walking breaks. Also, long runs are supposed to be slower than your short runs — your pace is supposed to be different.

    After having a bad run, I think it’s important to refuel, sleep well, and then make your next run an automatic WIN. Do a 2-mile jog or something, nothing super challenging. That way you’ll remind yourself that running’s not all that bad after all. 🙂 One of the worst things to do is to have a bad run and then thing you have to make up for it by being hardcore on your next session. Trust your training plan; alternate distance and speed days with easier runs. It aids recover and helps mentally.

    • elaine! September 15, 2010, 4:21 pm

      Wow, sorry about the typos. 😛
      *think / *recovery

  • Emily September 15, 2010, 4:42 pm

    Caitlin! So unrelated, but I stopped by Starbucks this morning (I’m right down the road in Clemson SC!) and I saw an ad on the bulletin board for Girls on the Run-Upstate! Is that the one that you’re involoved with?!!

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat September 15, 2010, 4:46 pm

    I’ve been having this same problem lately. The reasons for my bad runs lately are the start of school (overall business and stress), poor sleep, and some mental burnout. Hoping to make a comeback this week!

  • Heidi - apples under my bed September 15, 2010, 5:24 pm

    i’ve never run a race, but these look like really great tips.
    my comment is for the breakfast brown rice 🙂 i love the idea. i always cook brown rice in batches too, and this is a great way to use up leftovers. thanks for the tip!
    Heidi xo

  • Annie September 15, 2010, 6:06 pm

    Thanks to Caitlin & everyone for these great tips!!! I went out and got a hydration belt today and some Gu to help w/ my long run (8 miles) this Saturday. I’m soo happy to know that I’m not alone in this challenge!!! Best of luck to all & happy running 😀

  • Sana September 15, 2010, 8:25 pm

    As a beginner I have discovered two things:
    1) Feeling of ” i am going to pass out and die” only lasts for 45 secs when walking.
    2) Anything is possible after you get your first two miles in 🙂

Healthy Tipping Point