Is it possible to have a bad training session?

If you answered, Yes, then you might be missing or forgetting about an important aspect of training.

I don't believe that a person can have a bad training session.

Every athlete goes into their training session expecting to be 100% successful.  Our goals for that specific session might be predetermined my one's self, a training plan or coach. The success of the session is determined by reaching or surpassing those goals (speed, pace, wattage, heart rate etc.)  However what happens when you can't reach your physical goals? Does it mean that you failed? Does it mean you just wasted your time? Or ruined your training plan? Or dare I even say, lost fitness? Absolutely not. 

Athletes often forget about the mental aspect of sport. They forget that mental strength is just as important if not superior to physical strength. When the body isn't firing on all cylinders athletes must remember they can still become a stronger athlete, a more dangerous athlete if they choose to focus on and develop their mental strength. Having an off day physically is a great opportunity to work on improving and developing your mental game. As athletes there are few times when a true mental test presents itself therefore it is imperative that you capitalize on those limited opportunities because you can guarantee that during a race you will pay a visit to that "dark place". What separates your average athlete from an above-average athlete or what might prevent you from landing on the podium is what you do to leave that dark place. More than likely the key to that exit door is found between your ears.

Before you label a training session or race a failure ask yourself, "Did I grow physically and/or mentally?" If you can answer yes to one of these then you were successful. If you can answer yes to both then you had a breakthrough. If you answered no to both then you shouldn't have been training or racing in the first place.

“Nothing on earth can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”- Thomas Jefferson


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