As many triathletes are extremely obsessive about their training plans, learning how to deal with a missed workout can often be one of the biggest stumbling blocks that an athlete needs to overcome. Many times a missed workout leads to undue stress, angst and frustration which can adversely affect both athletic performance and day-to-day life. While we do not want to make a habit of skipping workouts, keeping these points in mind when dealing with a missed workout may help you maintain perspective.
Most of your life is more important than triathlonAlthough building and improving fitness is an important goal, it pales in comparison to other facets of your life. Family, friends, career, education – all of these things are much more important in the big picture than swimming, biking and running.
Triathlon is not putting food on the tableAs novice triathletes, this sport is supposed to be a fun diversion from the stress of day to day life – if instead of providing an outlet to help relieve stress, it is instead a major stressor, then your hobby is having the opposite of its intended purpose.
Ultimately, sport is a selfish pursuitAlthough many of us have gotten into the sport for the best of reasons and would like to believe that we are doing this for someone else, you do not need eight hours a week to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Just think how happy someone in your life would be if you dedicated eight hours a week to them!
You get stronger and faster when you restInstead of thinking of the missed workout as a lost opportunity to become more fit, bear in mind that training breaks down your system – rest provides you with time to recover and provides added gains in fitness.
Rome was not built in a dayMany novice triathletes are training between six and twelve times a week. If you are building towards a race in six months, this means that you will have an average of over 200 training sessions between now and your race. One or two missed workouts accounts for less than 1% of your total planned training and will not result in you falling apart on race day.
As we struggle to balance all elements of our lives, we need to ensure that we stay focused on those things which are the most important in the grand scheme of things. Although it is easy to become obsessed with the details of our training and racing, when life throws you a curveball that results in missing a workout – take it in stride and instead of fixating on what that missed workout cost you, consider what giving that time to someone else might mean to them.