The best laid plans always go to waste – isn’t that the cliché? Like most clichés, there is a lot of truth to this especially when it comes to training. You might have the best plan in the world, designed by boffins from a top secret Eastern European labratory and executed with the type of intensity rarely seen outside of the CrossFit Games. But if you cannot stick to the plan, no matter how mundane the reason, you won’t reap the rewards.
Real life often has a nasty way of taking your training plans, ripping them to shreds and then flushing them down the toilet. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and unless you are a professional athlete, there are times when you have to deal with things like illness, stress at work, travel, relationship problems or whatever new cowpat life tends to throw in our face.
I was chucked a bit of a curveball myself last week and it’s taken at least seven days to recover. I had a nasty bout of gastroentiritis on Wednesday which put me out of action for 48 hours, during which time I couldn’t ingest anything without it violently reappearing within minutes and so resorted effectively to fasting.
I recovered just in time for a trip back to the UK and my Grandma’s 90th birthday, where, as I am wont to do on occasion, I went completely over the top on the booze front. So factor in 2 days of no food, 2 days of crap food, alcohol and little sleep and another 2 days of recovering from the hangover and suddenly I had missed a whole week of training and gone completely off the reservation on the nutrition front.
This type of thing happens to everyone all the time, whether self inflicted (in the case of the party) or not (in the case of the illness). For me the key is to try not to overreact. In the past I have despaired because all my good work has gone to waste and just used it as an excuse to eat like shit and train sporadically. That is definitely a big mistake.
The best course of action when you fall of the metaphorical training horse is to dust yourself off, pick yourself up and get right back on again.
After missing a week of training I have decided to restart my current cycle. That means that I will repeat the first four training sessions of the cycle. It’s a bit annoying to feel like I am going backwards and that I have lost something, but my goals will be assessed at the end of the year and in the big scheme of things 1 week is just not a big deal. Certainly not big enough to change my overall plans.