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When You Fail At Following Your Training Plan For Two Weeks

You know how things come up while you’re training and you miss a workout, and then you wonder: Should I redo the whole week? I tend to start a training plan early to account for this before a race. After a series of running-related injuries and issues last year, I decided to focus on a longer base-building phase that I started in November and would wrap up this month. Without a race deadline, I’ve found it difficult to stick to the plan, but by and large, I’ve been pretty good about it.

Until two weeks ago. I was supposed to do a speed day, and I just didn’t have it in me. For whatever reason, I couldn’t hit the target pace. Then I went away for the weekend and missed my long run. That one-two punch in my week’s workouts seemed enough to call for a do-over.

But then I went into the redo week without any pep. Perhaps it was too much fun during that weekend visiting friends—that coupled with a sore calf after a beautiful, if short and steep, trail run over said weekend (head to Forest Park if you’re ever visiting Portland, Ore.!). I really felt more mentally tired than physically.

A chance run with a fast friend (who went nice and slow to stick with me) ended up giving me a pretty good tempo effort, but then I gave into the distractions of a busy week. I didn’t get in any other quality efforts. Oopsy. That’s two bad weeks—in a row.

So here we are at the beginning of the week. I considered another redo, but I don’t think I can handle it mentally, so here are my three ideas to get my groove back:

I’m moving along to the next week in the plan. The workout are very similar. The pace that I couldn’t hit that first day things started to get off track is actually a little slower this week, so it doesn’t seem as daunting. A workout a few days later is faster to make up for it, but I should have a rhythm going by then.

I took a lunch break from writing this week to go to CrossFit. It included seven 300-meter runs along with kettlebell swings, goblet squats and sit-ups. Feels like a good start to the week, since one of my main goals is to keep up with my strength work—and I treat that running as a bonus.

I’m using social media to hold me accountable. I’m putting it out there: I will follow this week’s plan. But more importantly, I’m taking it one day at a time.

Do you have other ideas on how to get your groove back with training? Tweet @WomensRunning and @Nickiontherun with your thoughts (and make sure Nicki is sticking to her plan!)

Nicki Miller

Nicki Miller is the managing editor for Women's Running and spearheads our nutrition coverage. She’s an avid runner but also loves cycling (both on and off-road), yoga and all kinds of crazy videos to do at home. Formerly the editor of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, Nicki started her journalism career at The Washington Post. Her first races were duathlons (run, bike, run) in her twenties with her husband, and then triathlons, completing the White Lake Half Ironman in North Carolina. Since joining Women’s Running in 2013, she’s been more focused on half marathons and trail running. Some of her proudest moments have been running the Boston Marathon (first 26.2), and becoming an RRCA certified running coach and helping others take up the sport.