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When Life Interrupts Your Training, Stop And Take A Breath

5 Tips For Dealing With Unexpected Time Off

I love the feeling of looking at the training log my coach gives me for the week. Perusing each day’s schedule and getting excited about the week’s workouts is a thrill–the plan laid out in front of me represents a new step of getting closer to my goals.

But what happens when you have a hiccup along the way? For me it was an unfulfilling, bad race, followed by a week of sub-par workouts and travel with three kiddos. The cherry at the end was that I got sick and was forced to take some days off. It happens to the most dedicated runner: work, family, traveling, illness… life gets in the way sometimes, and our mind and body has to adjust to veering off the straight and narrow path. How do you deal with the temptation of slipping into the darkness of negativity (My training is so off track! How much fitness did I just lose?) versus hitting the reset button with a smile and prepare to pick up where you left off?

Related: Why Some Time Off From Training Is A Good Thing

1. Stay Positive (And Calm)

A few missed days of training or a botched week isn’t going to derail your fitness. Think about all that you have gained and pick up right where you left off. After a few days to a week of consistent running, you’ll be back where you were before.

2. Your Body Will Appreciate The Extra Rest

Sometimes our bodies force us to take a (much needed) break. Try to embrace it and rest.

3. Running Is A Long And Winding Journey

We all have ups and downs along the way–it’s what makes the eventual victory so sweet.

4. You Are Not Injured

Taking time off because of life’s unexpected ups and downs is not the same as dealing with an injury. As a runner that spent the last two summers injured, I realize the difference and, in retrospect, this is NBD.

5. Time Off Gives You Space To Refresh

A few days of unplanned rest can give you a chance to reevaluate your goals and develop a new resolve on how to get there.

No worries–don’t stress, my running friends. Summer is blazing down on us. It’s time to take the heat so we can be ready to slay this fall.

We got this.


How Much Fitness Do You Lose When You Can’t Run?

4 Reasons You Need To Take A Break From Running

How Long Does It Take To Fall Out Of Shape?

Nat Runs Far

Nat Runs Far

Natalie Mitchell is NatRunsFar. Natalie is mom to three young kiddos and wife to her best friend. She is a seven-time marathoner, four-time Boston qualifier and five-time triathlete. Natalie enjoys taking her readers on a journey of running, inspiration, motherhood, chasing dreams and how to balance it all with a smile. When she isn't running, you'll find her playing with her kids on the beach, hiking, baking or reading. Natalie and her family also love to travel and you can find pictures of their outdoor adventures at and social media. She is an ambassador for Procompression and Stonyfield. Follow her daily musings on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NatRunsFar.