How to Rebound After a Bad Workout

“Honey, pull your shit together”

Last week was a rough one at work. From feeling intense pressure to being overwhelmed to having a constant stomachache to flat-out wanting to just sit at my desk and cry, you could say I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster – actually, a rollercoaster goes up as much as it goes down so that’s not really a proper analogy…

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Or at least, it will get better.

Anyway, this isn’t my woe-is-me whining session. I got through it last week and will this week too. In addition to coping strategies of mindful moments, reflection, and just getting over it and moving on, I employed one of my proven strategies for dealing with a tough day, which is – shocking – a workout. Most often, it’s a run. Sometimes, the power lies in lifting weights. Either way, a great workout is an excellent coping strategy for a bad day. My workouts this week, most notably, my Tuesday run with Burton, saved me from completely losing my shit this week.

But, what if it’s a bad workout that has your day unraveling? How do you deal when it’s your strategy to deal that has you stressed?

We’ve all been there. Maybe you drug your ass to the gym, completely against your own will, and, as predicated, your workout sucked. Or worse, maybe you were jacked for a sweat sesh, only to leave feeling disappointed, probably even worse than if you had been lukewarm about working out.

Just as you can bounce back after a bad day, you can recover from a less-than-stellar workout. Here are five strategies for dealing with and rebounding from a bad workout.

Food Recall
One of the biggest culprits to a bad workout is bad fueling. Whether it’s overall fatigue, an early bonk, or lack of focus, can you trace it back to not eating right or enough?

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This would not qualify as proper pre- or post-workout fueling.

While what you eat in the time closest to your workout, consider the day before. And, if you had a really hard workout within the past day or two, think about what you ate after – and if it was sufficient enough to promote proper recovery. Find these gaps and address them.

Be Realistic
Face it, every workout can’t be your best. If you hit a squat PR or kicked ass in speed intervals the day before, maybe today wasn’t meant to be another of rockstar status.

Be honest and ask: Did you honestly have a crappy workout or did it just not meet your, perhaps inflated, expectations?

Focus on the Good
There’s always something good in a bad situation. Rather than focus only on all the reasons your workout sucked, find the silver lining.

Some days, just the fact of making it to the gym and lasting 15 minutes on the treadmill is a victory in itself. Take note and give yourself a mental high five.

Move On
Don’t let one bad day cause another. As hard as it can be, putting a bad workout behind you is necessary.

restday

When you really, really need rest.

We all know fitness isn’t 100% physical, there’s a mental component to it too. Dwelling on a bad workout puts your mind in a negative place and, chances are, your next one could suffer as a result.

Take a Rest Day
A bad workout is often a sign that your body needs a rest day – badly. So give it one.

Take a full day off from working out. Also, make sure you get to bed early and try to snag those eight hours of sleep. Quality rest and sleep does wonders for your body and mind.

How do you rebound after a bad day? How about a bad workout, what are your tips for putting it behind you and starting fresh the next day? Comment below or tweet me, @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.

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