You have your training plan and all those workouts and runs decided weeks in advance. But a lot can (and will!) happen in the few months preceding your race. A sick kid at home, that unmissable party just the night before your toughest training of the week, unexpected work trips, you name it! Life will through things at you. But what to do? Stick to the plan or adapt?
Too much flexibility and you may find yourself skipping training sessions at the smallest hurdle, too much rigidity and you may risk wrecking your personal life.
On Saturday I had a long run planned but a friend needed help moving houses. What to do? My usual strategy when I have to give up on something is to give up on my sleep. This is because no one notices your absence while they are sleeping, and you can always catch up on your sleep later. Works beautifully when everyone else in your family enjoys that extra bit of sleep on the weekend ;-).
With 21km to run, a 6am start would do the trick, but with subzero temperatures I’d rather find another solution. A few minutes on the computer checking maps et voilà, the distance from home to their place was around 23km. And there was the solution right in front of me: run there! If you are tight on time and want to fit some extra training this is the rule to get to your destination: If you can swim, swim. If you can’t swim, run. If you can’t run, ride! If you can’t ride, do you really need to go that far?
22.6km and 1:43 h later and I was ready for my core work: lifting boxes. The recovery? Pizza and beer with friends!
Balance is everything. Be creative and adapt to stick to the plan.
And before you ask, yes, I got a lift back home!