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!)