Something is Often Better Than Nothing
Some days you’re simply going to run out of time to do a workout that you had planned to do. When this happens, it’s easy to get frustrated and lose your focus. For most of us, our time management requires us to balance family demands and work schedules, at a minimum, ahead of our training schedules and workout goals. Even full-time professional athletes have time demands that make getting in their planned training workouts done on schedule nearly impossible. Regardless of what causes you to not be able to get in a given workout, there are a couple of things that you can do to minimize any negative effects of not completing your schedule sessions.
#1 - Look at the big picture/perspective. Missing a training session or two every few weeks is not going to be a disaster. While we love to be able to hit 100% of our training goals, I often find that folks who hit 80% of their training do better than those who hit 100% - because those who hit 100% often neglect things that can sneak up and cause bigger disruptions in their training down the line.
#2 - Salvage what you can. In many cases, a planned hour for a training session gets reduced to just 15 or 20 minutes. In those cases, I recommend just doing an easy spin or doing the warm-up of a workout rather than doing nothing or trying to do the most possible in the shortened time. I’ve done “workouts” as short as 5 minutes in some cases - just moving for a few minutes almost always makes me feel better than doing nothing.
#3 - Relax and reset. If you’re short on time and stressed out, spending a few minutes doing some relaxation exercises or meditation can be a much better use of your time and help you gain some perspective and improve your mental skills of dealing with challenges and setbacks. As I often say, the ability to focus is important - but the capacity to adapt is critical to success over the long term.
#4 - Time moves forward. Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of trying to “make up” missed training sessions. There are some cases when you can substitute a previously missed session for another session in a training plan, but we generally don’t recommend trying to “catchup” and stack extra sessions in the future. Remember, you likely missed that session for an important reason…and time just moves forward. As you should as well!
You can also check out a couple of other related articles about missed sessions here: https://thesufferfest.com/blogs/training-resources/skip-a-workout-dont-panic and some ideas about surviving the holidays here: https://thesufferfest.com/blogs/training-resources/a-survival-guide-for-sufferlandrians-during-the-holidays
In summary remember: perspective, salvage, relax and move forward!