You missed at least three days. When the train goes completely off the rails, it’s time for a do-over. If a business trip cancels half a week or more of your training plan, repeat the week. With training plans that are specifically set up to peak and taper for a specific date, this can require a bit of recasting. If you’re more than two months out from your event, repeat the week you botched and adjust the workouts over the following two weeks to get back onto the schedule as it was originally planned.
The exception to the advice above is important if you are less than two months from your goal event. Assuming your training has generally been progressing well, you have the fitness necessary to write off the botched week of training and jump into the scheduled week as planned. You missed some work and thereby gained some recovery, which means you should have the energy for the workload of the scheduled week. Just as important, you’re minimizing the disruption to your final training blocks and your taper schedule.
Ideally, we’d all have the foresight to schedule our workouts, meetings and family emergencies so they don’t conflict, but that’s not the way life works. The best we can do is be proactive with our time management and adapt wisely when those unexpected interruptions inevitably appear.
Chris Carmichael is the author of The Time-Crunched Triathlete and founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems (Trainright.com/ironman), the official coaching and camps partner of Ironman. CTS coach Nick White co-wrote this article.