As runners, we can so easily become slaves to our training plans. Miss a workout? Guilt. Change a speed workout to an easy run? Guilt. Cut a long run short a mile or two? Guilt.
But it shouldn’t be that way. This week is my last big mileage week before starting my taper for Richmond, therefore, I wanted to stick to my plan. The plan was to run speedwork (lots of it) yesterday. But, I raced hard on Saturday. My IT band got angry at me. My legs were tired. So yesterday, when my partner in crime didn’t make it to the track, I chose to run easy with my other friends. Today would be the day for speed.
Except…today I got on the treadmill with a Runverals DVD planning to run hard. I cranked up the speed during the warm-up and could tell my legs didn’t need to run fast. They needed to run easy. So–I am going to listen to my legs. Tomorrow will be another easy run.
Saturday will be my last 22-miler and there will be a significant portion of it dedicated to marathon pace. Had I done speedwork yesterday or today on my tired legs, I might not be able to accomplish that goal. Or worse, I might have pushed my IT band to its limit.
The point is, if you are consistent over the majority of your training plan, it’s ok to change or skip a workout if your body wants you to. Listen to that little voice. Don’t feel guilty. The long-term goal–staying healthy and continuing to run–should always win out.