Even the best laid plans—in this case, training plans—can get interrupted. Days of 90-degree (plus!) temps; injury; holiday trips with the family; more work than hours in the day.
Hey. It happens.
But if (when!) that happens, it’s not the end of your world.
I can say that… because I’ve been there.
A couple of years ago I was pretty much ‘sidelined’ because of a rather nasty plantar fasciitis “issue” that resulted in my only being able to run one day during the week, and a much shorter Saturday long-runs… and even then, both these “runs” were really more walking than running.
I was a mess.
But then I saw a sports physical therapist and was encouraged to understand that even though I couldn't do my normal run training, I could still do strength and core exercises, and even bike and swim. Which is exactly what I did.
Okay, so I wasn’t running. But what the heck, at least I was 'out there!’—maintaining my endurance and my aerobic, muscle and core strength.
The "lesson" this injury taught me, and the lesson I want to share with you... is that even if your training schedule is interrupted—either by the weather, injury or by a (too) busy schedule—there's a really good chance you can still do something.
On extremely hot and/or humid weekends, like this Independence Day weekend here in Chicago, if doing a 12 mile long-run seems “just impossible,” try running 8 or 10 miles instead… and run at a slower pace! (Honestly, the effort it takes to run a slower 10 miles in the heat will be more than equivalent to the effort it takes to run 12 miles under more ‘normal’ conditions.)
And if your work and/or family schedule doesn't give you time for a 50-minute weekday run, run 30—an idea celebrated in this quote by runner, mother and author Kristin Armstrong:
"There is a freedom in running... a liberty and indulgence every time I run. Even if all my dayaffords is just 30 precious minutes, I am reminded—even if not one single thing on my calendar reflects it—that the adventure is still out there."
And if you just don't have the 'inclination' or opportunity to run on a given day, do something else… like stretching, or strength work. Or take out your bike and ride! Or “go jump in a lake” (or pool, or ocean) and swim.
But please, I encourage you—just as I was encouraged—to challenge yourself to still do something!
Because “something” is ALWAYS better than nothing.
Train safe. Run strong.