When Training Doesn’t Go As Planned – Make It Work!

We’ve all heard the Yiddish Proverb “Man plans, God laughs.”  That pretty much sums up my training so far this year.  Between snowmageddon 1, 2, and 3 which left the roads with a solid inch of ice, unexpected hospital stays (family members, not me) and back pain caused by shoes that just weren’t right for me, I have yet to run further than 6 miles….and I have the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in four weeks.  Not just any half marathon, a very hilly half marathon.  The famous Whiskey Hill has its own facebook page!  

What do you do when your training plan has been curtailed by illness, weather, or overtime at work?  You follow Tim Gunn’s advice and “Make it work!”  Any other Project Runway fans out there?

Five tips to “Make It Work”

  1. Tweak your training schedule – sit down and look at your long runs.  Can you still get them in? Can you increase your long run by 1.5 – 2 miles each week instead of 1?  Can you ease back on weekday miles so you can still get in your long run without overtraining?
  2. Adjust your time goals –  if you can’t stick to your training plan, that Sub-2 half marathon is probably not going to happen.  Make sure your goals are realistic and have fun with the race.  My fastest half marathon was probably my least enjoyable and my favorite race memory was one of my slowest times because I was having a blast running with friends.  Unless you are an elite athlete – and let’s face it, if you are, you probably aren’t reading my blog – you’re not going to win anyway so you might as well have a good time!
  3. Get in some cardio – if you can’t run, try and get in some good cardio.  Spin class or HIIT workouts are great ways to get in some quick cardio and keep your conditioning.
  4. Get a support system – enlist some friends to get you through the race.  If they can’t run with you, have them cheer you on from different spots on the course.  If you know you are going to have someone cheering you on every 2 – 3 miles, it gives you the encouragement to get there!
  5. Cut your losses – it is far better to sit one race out than to get injured or worsen an existing injury and have to sit out months or even an entire year.  Be a race cheerleader or volunteer instead.  You can still be involved and have a great time too!

What do you do when your training plan gets disrupted?

Have you ever cheered at a race?