As hard as I try, I have never completed a training plan 100%. I usually miss 2-4 runs throughout the 12-16 weeks I am training.
I try my hardest to get in all of my runs, but sometimes it is not possible. I use to feel real guilty about missing a run and would actually get frustrated with myself.
My first go around at marathon training I actually missed a 20 miler. Guess what? I still finished the race.
Long runs are vitally important to training, so don’t try to miss them- but know you will survive if you absolutely have to.
I am starting week 4 of my current marathon training and until Saturday I had not missed one run. I went out for a simple 4 miler Saturday morning and my legs were just too tired to run. I knew if I tried to continue it would be a terrible run, so I stopped and ended up walking a bit and then returned home. I was set to run 10 miles yesterday, but I was up late the night before at a wedding, and then by the time I got up Sunday I went to the lake with some friends.
That is okay.
I am going to make up my 10 miler tonight once it cools down a bit, and as for the 4 miler I missed? I won’t make that up.
Please follow these tips if you happen to miss a run:
1. Do not try to make up a missed run or fit it in during the week. If you try to fit in a missed run during the week you may end up hurting yourself by negatively interfering with your rest day. Rest days are there for a reason and your body needs them to repair any muscle fibers or tissues that may have torn during a run. Just take a deep breath and relax.
I have also learned that weekly mileage is not as important as the quality of each run. You want to focus on each run and make sure you are giving it your best, instead of tacking on extra miles to make up for a run.
2. Calm down. I have had my fair share of freak outs when I have missed a run. Through my years of training I have learned that the race goes on, and I do just fine having missed a few runs. Having missed one run that I know I can’t make up for is okay! Instead, squeeze in some extra core work or strength training.
3. Physically you will be fine. Missing one or two runs will not hinder your fitness. You need to trust in your training and you will be okay. Missing one 4 mile run is not going to cause me to not finish the marathon.
I know it can be stressful to miss a run but chances are you will be just fine. If you have something planned for the weekend try getting your longer run in a day before or a day after- just make sure a long run is not too close to another taxing run (such as speed work or hills). You want to make sure your body still has time to rest.