Have you ever had to adjust your training due to sickness, injury, or weather? Maybe it’s just me, but I hate deviating from The Plan. Within the past few months, I have had all of these… which means lots of plan changing and trying to be flexible while still putting in the work towards my goals.
Well, there are so many kinds of illnesses out there. I dealt with a head cold for a week. It was while we were traveling, so I was just worn out, not getting the rest I need, and stressed with mom-ing while not in our normal routine. I scratched a workout, cut some runs short, and slowed down the pace to keep my heart rate in the aerobic zone. I didn’t cross train or strength train to conserve energy, and I tried to get to bed earlier. If you have a sickness that requires doc attention, medication, or are puking, then you will definitely want to be more conservative and take complete rest days to allow your body to focus on recovering. Be smart, don’t dig yourself into a hole, and then take a few days to ease back into training before you do any workouts or long runs.
I shared that my calf/shin was irritated. I’m in the process of doing some form changes, strengthening weaknesses, and trying to get in solid miles, workouts, and consistency with strength training in the gym. All while still carrying more weight than my body is used to. I ended up taking a week off from running in January, and did non-impact cross training and rehab work instead. This meant bike, pool, elliptigo/elliptical, lifting, strength training, dry needing, cupping, massage, graston, rolling, and of course, icing. In the past, I would have been so upset to miss out on those miles, but weather was awful, so that helped, and when I took 6mos off from running while pregnant, a week felt like nothing. My rule of thumb is that if something lingers longer than 3 days, it needs some extra attention! If you feel the onset of abnormal pain or soreness, I promise, change the plan and back off, take off, XT, rest and then get back out there once it’s past. Pushing through is rarely a good choice.
I have lived in the Boulder, Colorado area for over 4 years, and this was definitely the worst of our winters so far. The trails were very icy and closed for consecutive weeks, lots of sub 20 degree mornings, and for some reason it seemed to snow every weekend to add to the difficulty of long runs. As I write this, it is April 10 and we are in a Blizzard warning… but it was 77 degrees yesterday, so I can’t complain on that one. Moral of this story is to be flexible with your training when weather is hot, cold, icy, stormy etc. It is not worth risking your life, your health, or your soul to force something when the elements are against you. Adjust the days of your workouts by staying up to date on the Weather Channel app so you can be prepared ahead of time to make changes, take the runs inside, change up the workouts to be effort based vs pace based, slow down, or even take a rest day.
Here are some tips for adjusting the plan while traveling, adapting training to focus on effort vs pace, or as summer makes an appearance, how to train in the heat. Cheers to learning how to be more flexible to increase success and joy in the process of fitness.