14 February 2019

Missed Workouts? Inconsistent Training? What to do...

I've had the best of intentions to ramp up my training, be consistent, get all my planned workouts in, lose a bit of weight, and be ready and perfectly prepared for my "A" race. Ah, the best-laid plans! Things happen beyond our control. Our priorities are constantly shifting. Work gets crazy busy. Outside demands take precedent. Health and/or sleep is poor. Weather sucks. Goals are forgotten/ignored/unclear/unmotivating. Whatever our reason (or excuse) is for not getting the training in that is expected or wanted, here are a few suggestions for what to do:
  1. Set new, more realistic or motivational goals.
  2. Do what you can to get your workouts in as scheduled. Even if you can only do part of a workout.
  3. DO NOT beat yourself up over missing or having to compromise your training schedule. While missing workouts and having inconsistent training is not ideal, it will not automatically ruin your race goals. Life happens. Let it go and focus on doing the next workout. If you don't let it go then it's like missing TWO workouts. Look at the next workout and decide what the goal or purpose of it is. Do what you can to execute it perfectly and draw satisfaction from that.
  4. Listen to your body. Sometimes you should miss a workout because you're tired, fatigued, stressed, excessively sore, or for some other reason. Fitness gains come from appropriate training + recovery/rest/sleep. 
  5. Ask your coach for guidance (if you have one).
  6. Shift workouts around if that will lead to more efficient use of available time. E.g. swimming at a pool usually requires travel time and shower time. There are scheduling limits due to lap swim hours. Riding for an hour on a trainer at home could easily take less time than a 1/2 hour swim.
  7. If options are limited, it can sometimes be okay to "stack" workouts. In other words, make 2 workout sessions into something of a brick session. For example, swim before a ride. You don't necessarily have to quickly move between workouts like you would for a true brick - take your time (if you have it), get some nutrition in, recover/rest a little, and then move on to the bike.
  8. Miss a day or two? DON'T  move workouts around. DON'T stack workouts. Just move on to the next sessions. (Yes, this is the opposite of #5 and 6!) 
  9. Are you looking ahead and seeing a week of landmines? Find out what the most important workouts are for crossing finish line. Make those the priority when you can't fit it all.
  10. Can you only find 10, 20, or 30 minutes at home? Do some core routine or strength training or dryland swimming at home, even in front of the TV.
Sometimes the key to success is simply to adapt and move forward. Sometimes it's smart to reevaluate and adjust. Sometimes it's about setting SMART goals that motivate you. And sometimes it's just about giving yourself a kick in your backside. 

Train smart, have fun!

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