Don’t stress out over a missed workout

Training for a race is a long process. For a full marathon the program is 20 weeks – and for a half marathon, 10 or 12 weeks. That is a long time, and usually, “life gets in the way” – something unexpected pops up and we miss a few scheduled workouts.

Missing a workout here or there is usually no big deal. Many times, since there are rest days built into the schedule, you should be able to substitute ONE missed occasional day. That way, there won’t even be a hiccup to your plan, and you can still fit running into your life. A shorter run in the middle of the week actually doesn’t need to be made up. If it is more than one day, however, using your rest days to make up all of the mileage is a mistake. And if you are missing a week or more of workouts, you may have to recast your plan.

If you are not running because of an injury, especially an overuse injury, make sure that you are healthy before starting to run again. You probably will have to revise your plan, because trying to jump back into your training schedule as if nothing happened often leads to (re-)injury.

If you are missing a week or more of workouts because of vacation, because of work, or even because of something unexpected coming up, here are three recommendations to ensure that you will be ready to get to the starting line.

1. Try to make alternate workouts 

Take a good hard look at the time away from training and try to fit the workouts around the conflicts. If you are not going to be able to carve out the time to stay with your plan, remember that doing some running is better than none. And you may be able to take this time to work on cross-training as well.

2. Focus on the positive

You have a plan and have been training for a while now. Your fitness level has increased. So if you have missed some time, remember the three Rs: Review, Reset and Recommit

  • Review your plan, and see how your short-term and long-term goals now fit in.
  • Reset your training based on the goals.
  • Recommit, because your long-term goals are worth it.

3. Don’t stress out 

Missing some workouts isn’t the end of the world. Don’t become so consumed with the mileage and the schedule that you jeopardize health, training or long-term performance—the truth is, that over 20 weeks and hundreds of training miles, missing a training run, even missing a few training runs is NOT going to adversely affect your overall performance and sometimes, a timely missed workout has training benefits. Safety comes first when training. When workouts are missed, we will adjust training in a way to assist you in SAFELY returning to training.