Rubbish runs

I love running. That’s not an understatement or an untruth. I really do love it. I love the physical movement of running, the pounding of my feet, the feeling of moving swiftly along the gravel roads of the farm, or wherever my running steps take me – that feeling of moving quickly is wonderful. I love the thrill and challenge of setting a goal and attempting to meet it. I love it when those running goals come to fruition. Through weeks of training, dedicated time spent in my running shoes I meet my goals.  Then there is a photo of me at the finish line or a perhaps a medal to hang up on our hat stand to show for goals met. I love every part of running.



Some runs are not happy. Some runs are hard slogs that take serious amounts of dedication to get me out the door and then to keep me running to the finish. Some runs are rubbish runs. Rubbish runs are just not fun. I haven’t had many really bad runs but when a run is tough from start to finish that’s what I call a rubbish run. The only fun part is actually getting them completed.


There is always something good and positive to gain from a rubbish run. These runs have taught me things…what was it about these runs that made them rubbish? Here are some of the culprits:

  • Insufficient sleep the night before or perhaps a series of nights before
  • Insufficient hydration
  • Eating the wrong food or not enough food to fuel appropriately for the distance
  • Allowing myself to indulge in negative thoughts you can’t cope with this 10km run, how are you going to cope with the next half marathon? And don’t even think about a full marathon, you are kidding yourself!

How do I cope when I’m on these runs?

  • I switch off to my thoughts and instead tune into the sound of my feet pounding on the gravel road, my heart pumping and the rhythm of my breathing
  • I tune into the surroundings – take in the views and think about where I am and what I’m looking at
  • I smile – a smile on my face instantly lightens the load
  • I start to count blessings – feet that can run, health that allows me to run
  • I sing a song in my head and concentrate on the rhythm and the words
  • And my all-time favourite, I chant a mantra. My mantras can be the funniest things like I’m a hill runner I can run up hills, I’m a hill runner I can run up hills or my very first one when I was trying to run a whole 1km for the first time was I’m going to be fit, fabulous and 50 and another one for when I’m feeling really blurrrrr is Be mentally tough! Be mentally tough! for this one I have to set a steely look on my face and have exceptional running form…in my head anyway!


There will always be rubbish runs, tough runs that make me question my love of running. These runs are not really rubbish though, they give me a taste of how to cope and keep running on regardless of how I feel. They allow me to examine what made them rubbish and try to be better prepared in future.

So really no run is a rubbish run, all runs teach us about ourselves and about running and provide one more run to help us get to our running goals.

Happy running 🙂


PS The Mother’s Day Classic on Sunday was awesome, will tell you all about it next!

22 thoughts on “Rubbish runs

  1. Agree totally, I have been running for 10 years and learn something from each run I do, for instance recently – running 14 miles having only eaten a banana will leave you with wobbly wobbly legs and always best to wear black socks when going off road! Can’t wait to hear an out the Mother’s Day run.

  2. Great post! I’m not a huge runner but I’ve noticed that some days are tougher than others…but, I always love the feeling of just me and the road. Thanks for this!

  3. I like this, it’s true you can usually identify why a run was not so great, running when tired from night shifts had to be my biggest culprit!

    • Gosh yes 🙂 I don’t know how sift workers do it. In our running group we have a lovely friend who comes and runs at 6pm and then goes off to work for the night – she is amazing and so are you! Sounds like you are getting into the running again…hope the foot is holding up!

  4. Rubbish runs don’t happen to me often, but sometimes they do. And when they happen it’s usually because I’m still tired from a previous run. I usually pull through, but I also don’t mind reducing the distance or speed if I have to, and add it back on another run.

  5. This is very true. I sometimes have rubbish runs, and try not to beat myself up about it – thanks for sharing this, I feel better knowing it’s not just me!

    • Oh yes, that voice needs to be silenced with lovely uplifting words of songs or positive mantras 🙂 I don’t her that voice very often anymore…I tell myself on a regular basis that if I can run up a mountain I can do anything! hehe 🙂

  6. I should have read this before my race on the weekend! I just ended my latest post with “do you have any tips?” And your post is full of them! Thank you. 🙂

  7. rubbish runs can leave you feeling crap. I just try and say to myself that I’m still out there running, even if it is rubbish and no-one can take that away from me. But I think it’s all a mental battle and it’s important to listen to your body!

  8. Another great read. There are some days when it is a slog and it’s like just get it done. My mind at times needs a good talking to 😬. I will definitely try some of your positive tips 😊

  9. You have captured it so well. The things you love about running are things I love about it too. 🙂 And yes – those crap runs happen and they are really upsetting and demoralising. I kind of think they are good for the willpower muscle though – the rubbish runs make you work it as much as you work your body. And when you get home having done what you set out to do – the best feeling. xx

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