Graphic Treatment: Team RMHC Runner's Circle

Four to five months is a long time to commit to a training program and sometimes “Life gets in the way” for all of us.

Some of you have already looked ahead at the training schedule and compared it to your vacation, travel and work schedules to see if you’re likely to miss any training runs--particularly any of the weekend long runs.

Do you wonder if or how you need to make up for the missed runs?

Missed workouts fall into two categories. First, we have the expected deviations from training – planned family vacations or a work commitment which affects training. Second, we have the unexpected deviations – catching the flu, sustaining an injury or a last-minute engagement.

Understand and plan for various circumstances along the way. And remember that all is not lost if you miss a workout, or even several workouts. Anticipating and adapting to training interruptions helps keep our focus on the goal--which is crossing the line on Marathon Day.

Let’s start with the ‘expected deviations’. If you have vacation plans or a travel schedule which conflicts with some training runs, you can ALWAYS bring your running gear “on the road” and still ‘get in the miles’ (or minutes) your schedule calls for. (Even without “mile markers” we can run the required miles by knowing our approximate running pace. If you run 10-minute miles and need to run 10 miles… simply run “out” for 50 minutes, then turn around and run back to the start!)

If that’s not possible, we should always make alternate plans. We can review the time away from training and reconfigure the workouts around the conflicts (see below, beginning “A common mistake…”).

‘Unexpected deviations’ can usually be accommodated as well. Of course, we must first examine the reason for the training deviation in order to determine how to get back on the training beam.

If you miss some training runs due to injury, especially an ‘overuse’ injury, increasing mileage or the intensity of the workouts too soon will likely cause a re-injury, often worse than the original one. If you miss a workout due to family, work or social commitments you don’t always need to make up for the missed workout. A shorter run during the middle of the week does not need to be made up. Chalk this up to “life’s circumstances” and move on with your training.

A common mistake of runners is to try to make up for all missed runs. Sometimes we double up on the mileage of the missed workouts and pile two or more workouts into a longer workout. Sometimes we reconfigure the training week to eliminate ‘rest’ or ‘cross-training’ days with the result that we run too many consecutive days, mistakenly believing that the skipped runs in the past count as extra ‘rest days’ that need to be compensated for by adding several consecutive running days in order to ‘catch up with the training program.’

Not true.

It seems counter-intuitive, but once a workout is missed, it cannot be made up without consequences – usually negative consequences. 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 18 weeks and hundreds of training miles, missing a training run, even missing a few training runs is NOT going to affect your overall performance. [Go back and review Training Tip #1 on Quality over Quantity]

Safety comes first when training. When workouts are missed, we will adjust training in a way to assist you in SAFELY returning to training.

(If you EVER need help ‘adjusting’ your training schedule to accommodate either expected or unexpected deviations, please write to me and I will be happy to assist.)

Coach Brendan
“Good form will carry you through”®
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