A DNF leaves every eager runner demoralized and broken. In case you didn’t crossed the finish line, here is some advice to help you coping with DNF.
1 COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING
First, you’ll feel terribly disappointed, but once you are through the initial frustrating feelings, it’s time to move on. Think constructively and set new goals. Don’t get stuck and don’t lose motivation because of this. Turn your DNF it into a valuable experience of your life and think about what you’ve achieved along the way. For instance, a 100 miler DNF could mean you’ve achieved a good marathon, followed by a 30 miler and a 50 miler. You may not have completed a 100 miler the first time, but you’ve accomplished a lot along your way.
2 CELEBRATE EVERY ACHIEVEMENT
Congratulate yourself for every achievement and build a healthy perspective in this way. This will also increase your motivation. A classic mistake that people do is that they don’t celebrate what they’ve done well, but fell terrible and beat themselves up for not achieving something.
3 RESTORE YOUR CONFIDENCE
Return to a basic training routine and start your journey again. Start from scratch and enter a couple of shorter races, building up to your target race. You should ask yourself what you should do or change to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. And keep in mind, people learn much more from failure than from success.
4 LEARN DURING TRAINING
Practice “what ifs?” in training, which will help you minimize the risk of things going wrong on the day, and if they do go wrong, you’ll be well prepared. You can also try doing a time-trial at the same time of the day that your race is taking place.
5 BE CONSISTENT
Everything you do in training should be second nature during the actual event. Inconsistency creates holes… you should have contingency plans and formalize them.