Running Prep And The Burden Of Failure

4-0-300 Blog 035


A week and a half ago I posted my new run training plan in post 034. I was pumped to get back to running and working on my biggest hindrance for posting really good times for obstacle course racing. I was in good space mentally for it, had been doing running specific mobility to help got off to a great start on my first run feeling good and fast. Then…. nothing. I got some sort of stomach bug and couldn’t keep food in, I had to get most of my daily calories for drinks which when that’s your biggest vice and you’re trying to give it up is not ideal. While I tried to work through getting in a workout on Wednesday body couldn’t handle the exertion I want to put out with so little energy going in. My plan looked like this for the week:


Monday – Rest Day, pretty easy first day I plan on doing a very low impact lifting day.

Tuesday – Run 30 minutes, Run 4 sets of 5 minute runs with 2-minute walk recovery.

Wednesday – Rest, again probably a lifting day.

Thursday – Run 30 minutes, Run 4 sets of 5 minute runs with 2-minute walk recovery.

Friday – Rest, if you haven’t caught on to my trend I plan on a heavy day.

Saturday – 10-15 Core Workout.

Sunday – Run 30 Minutes, run 3 sets of 8 minutes a low effort with 2-3 brisk walk for recovery


But turned into this:

Monday – Rest Day, obviously did this day no problem

Tuesday – Ran 30 minutes, Run 4 sets of 5 minute runs with 2-minute walk recovery. Felt really good covered more distance than I usually do for an interval run like this.

Wednesday A little lifting session nothing great

Thursday – No run just a small, very light cardio session

Friday – Thought of running to make up for missing it Thursday, had my shoes on then got sick

Saturday – Nothing, again was mentally ready to run but felt sick

Sunday – Nothing, no energy couldn’t even think of running


Mentally it was incredibly difficult to deal this failure, I was only 1 week into my plan and already I was 3 key workouts behind when my goal for this program was to not miss a day. I found that instead of focusing on getting better I was just mad at myself for not being able to fight through it, as a result I had absolutely no motivation to workout in any way shape or form on Monday.  It was a complete 180 from how I felt just a week before.


Then came along a double epiphany Tuesday which again makes so thankful for this sport and its culture.

First, I’ve been reading lots of training books lately covering all sorts of ideas and concepts. I was reading Chris and Heidi Powell’s Extreme Transformation while I was sick, which while I’m not trying to lose weight by any means but I found it incredibly helpful for establishing good mental focus for maintaining and getting into good shape. The concept they share for avoiding crashing is to fall but not fail. Which means understand that there will downs but to rebound quickly, refocused and get back after it. Great in concept but when you are still in the aftermath of an illness hard to implement.

The second saving grace came from Global Spartan Day, when I was still in my self-induced slump I didn’t notice that my body had shed the bug and was ready to go again as I couldn’t get motivated. Spartan Race challenged you to do 30 burpees to “celebrate” on this day to help spread their message of well-being. I looked at their social media posts 3 or 4 times and just shrugged it off telling myself in a day or two I would be healthy enough to crush it then. Anyone to shrugs of training for another day knows that rarely happens and it’s continues to get pushed off seemingly forever. Finally, the fall but don’t fail clicked, as I look at my fitness book collection and saw Spartan Up! Why was I continuing to make excuse for myself when I have such high goals for myself this season? So, I did my burpees and man it was funny how doing something physical completely reset your mind. I started to focus back into my goals, resetting the stepping stone goals for the interim and I did a workout. I was back!!


Now as far as my run training goes I don’t want to risk hurting myself by trying to cram a bunch of extra runs into rest days as by this time I was 3 runs behind the program. So instead of a lighter 12-week program I going to do an 8-week program with a heavier work load, still from Runningbug, so look for that in a week.


My message to anyone is to learn from the Fall but don’t Fail lesson, we all crash at some point and we do need to pick ourselves up and refocus rather than getting too hard on ourselves.  Also to look for inspiration in unexpected places, I found mine in a weightloss book when I’m trying hard to pack on a little muscle weight. Now excuse me I have a core workout to go get done.


Scotty Voodoo
I am a proud father & husband. A former semi-pro skier, turned rugby 7’s player, I’ve now worked to become a OCR racer.
A level 2 NCCP certified coach, I also hold coaching certifications in 3 sports.


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