There’s No Such Thing As Make-Up Miles
Running in winter is tough. The weather is crap. You are running on snow, ice, in gyms, in rain and on sweaty treadmills…it isn’t glamorous and it isn’t always fun. Sometimes we even get sick! Setting goals and working toward them is hard work and there are no shortcuts to obtain goals in endurance sports. Thats a harsh reality. Consistency and being great at showing up are the keys to success.
When life’s happenings get in the way, when a curveball gets thrown into your schedule, if you get sick, an old injury flares up or when stresses get so high and things get so busy you can’t find even 20-minutes for your run, that just might mean your run wasn’t meant to be. It’s ok to miss a run or three, it happens to everyone at all levels.
It’s important to reframe the way we think about missed runs, especially for runners who are showing up every day, as scheduled. When life’s happens prevent us for getting out, taking that as a UNIVERSAL CUE that resting for whatever reason (there are not always definitive answers) was the higher choice between forcing a run and or forcing a make-up run. We can then take the energy saved by resting and apply that to a better quality run later. In most cases this always “makes up” for the loss in training to begin with because our focus is on quality efforts, not slogging and fatigue resistance.
Your coach will help you determine whether or not the workout was so critical it needs to be re-worked into your training later. Most often, missing a few easy runs, or a big workout, in a zoomed out approach to training, ends up being such a small thing that it has almost no effect on the training itself.
If you miss a run, don’t panic. Zoom out! No one run or three ever determined success in accomplishing a big goal or in a podium performance.
Your fitness does not decline from missing even a week of runs!
Runs are not made-up, but stresses (yes training stress) can be reworked into runs later in the schedule.
REST = TRAINING, without rest, we can’t adapt to training stress so an extra day or two here and there is usually BENEFICIAL.
Focus on CONSISTENCY in your training, stack weeks and months of consistent work so you know you have a bank of saved rest days to draw from later if you need to.
As athletes, not just coaches, we know how tough this is, but it’s an important practice in giving up trying to control variables that are far outside of our control. Re-focus on how you react to life’s curveballs. Ask yourself, “When I force runs through, are they quality? Or do they tend to add more mental/emotion stresses to my plate?” Be honest with your answers. When I force a run, it always causes more accumulation of stress, which negativity effects the quality of my runs later. This means that the higher choice is to rest. The lower choice is to force or make-up.
Not all runs are mean’t to be, it doesn’t make you any more or less of an athlete. It just makes you a human.