Running a blog and offering help and advice to fellow runners is one thing, but I’m also a runner myself and I know first-hand that advice given, even with the best of intentions, is not always advice that we wish to follow. Therefore, following that same advice is quite something different.
Last Sunday, in preparation for my forthcoming half marathon, I had a threshold interval session planned. 5 x 5 minutes in heart rate zone 4, with 90 seconds recovery jog in between. A great session for improving your ability to run faster, for longer. However, I went to bed on Saturday evening not feeling too great (not drink related before anyone asks!) and woke up early in the morning to deposit the previous evening’s dinner into a bowl that I had precautionarily left beside the bed.
I went back to sleep for some more rest before attempting to mobilise and get on with the day. The best I could manage was a blanket on the settee before a second deposit around midday. It was shortly before this point that I decided today wasn’t the day for a threshold session. Kind of obvious I suppose. I’ll catch up on the rest today and get out tomorrow.
The rest of the day passed without incident, as did Monday but, although I made it into work, I wasn’t quite fully better, and I felt that a threshold session was not the most sensible way to end my day. The issue was that my next session was set for Wednesday, a progressive 5-miler which would culminate in 10 minutes in HRZ4. The only way now to squeeze in the interval threshold session was to do these two runs back-to-back.
At this point, you would most certainly recommend a friend to either shift the second run so that they are not back-to-back or skip one of the runs. As I had already planned to run Friday, Saturday and Sunday (easy, easy and threshold respectively, so not so much of an issue running on subsequent days), I decided to do the right thing and skip the session that was originally scheduled for Sunday.
So, how do you make up for those missed runs during your training plan? Unless you can sensibly fit them in elsewhere without compromising other sessions, then you don’t. You should simply chalk them off and skip them, as if they never existed in your plan in the first place. I know that’s hard to do, believe me. “But as part of my training plan, it says I must do this run!” No plan is underpinned by one, two, or even three sessions. If you miss a workout due to injury, illness or availability, you risk your end goal more by trying to squeeze in that run than you do by ignoring it, like it never existed.