What happens if a planned workout isn’t ‘happening’

We’ve all been faced with it…a planned workout just isn’t going as planned.

One idea is just to press through, and push the workout according to the original plan…generally a bad idea though from my experience…unhappy and fried body parts are probably telling you something

…like “fogettaboutit…I’m gonna break something to get your attention if you don’t lay off”

This doesn’t mean wimp out a the first sign of exercise stress…it means, if things _really_ aren’t going well, adjust and come back for another day.

For me this is typically a bike ride or run where my legs are toast…I’m pressing hard, but my legs just don’t have enough juice to get my heart rate up.

The Endurance Nation folks…that promote a training style that is hard and fast…recommend that you adjust it this way:

  1. Cut the Interval Length but Keep the Intensity. IOW (in other words) if 2 x 15′ on the bike at 95-100% of FTP (functional threshold power) really isn’t working for you, can you do 3×10 with more rest or 4×7.5, etc.
  2. Do the Time but Drop the Intensity. If #1 doesn’t work, then get in your 2×15′ at 90% or 85% of planned intensity instead.
  3. Do the Time Only. If #2 doesn’t work, then just get your 45-60 minutes done.
  4. If You have Zero Motivation and #3 is Wicked Unappealing, Do Nothing. Stretch, core, etc is okay but take the day. Better to save now than pay later.

Or it you have longer term issues, like sickness or injury, or recovering from an accident, Coach Gale Berhardt says consider keeping the intensity and adjusting everything else, pointing to a real life example where due to a crash an athlete was severly restricted in what he could do, and still had remarkable gains doing Miracle Intervals, so something like this:

  1. Keep the intensity, but shorten the work interval and increase the rest interval
  2. Or, even increase the intensity but severely decrease the work interval and severely increase the rest interval

The final word

The one thing the experts appear to agree on is:

  • don’t be afraid to make an adjustment to a planned workout, if it’s really not happening for you
  • …and _really_ consider keeping the intensity by reducing the time at the intensity and increasing rest periods

…and then come back and crush it another day.

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