In my recent post My Marathon Training Plan, I said that I learned that I shouldn't stress so much when having down weeks. I was asked for tips in handling missed workouts. Afterall, it is easy to look back and say that it was a blessing in disquise.
I am not that great at handling missed workouts while they occur. Just ask my boyfriend. The level of anxiety created on missed workouts depends on why the workout was missed. A workout could be missed because of scheduling conflicts, sickness, injuries, oncoming injury, not wanting to run the scheduled workout or just plain not wanting to run.
Reschedule or alter the schedule. If its one run I'm going to miss, I tell myself that I can make up the run another day or add a couple miles to other runs. I can switch my track workout or tempo run to another day. I remind myself that I need to be flexible and a couple days won't affect my conditioning and the break will do me good. If there are a lot of missed days one thing I tell myself is having a recovery week is important. Every 4-6 weeks a 30% reduction of miles is important in training. I can either continue with the plan when I can or I can rework the plan.
Focus on what you have and not the lack. If it's a reduction in miles or a reduction in a workout I try and focus on what I did do as compared to what I didn't do. Focusing on what I have is always better than focusing on the lack. If I have a 5 mile on the schedule and can only do 3 miles, I focus on the 3 miles. I focus on the fact that I still got out there and got the blood going. This is true if I ride the bike, swim or do the elliptical instead of run. I got out there and burned calories.