Kyle is a previously obese now sub-elite runner who coaches athletes all over the world to run smartly and injury-free. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota, but he and his wife like to house-sit in the summers. So far they’ve lived in Panama and Seattle while house-sitting. Check out his Runner's Life story here and then read his insight on making up your long runs below, super helpful if you're running one of these amazing half marathons or a full marathon in the new year:
As a running coach working primarily with busy adults, sometimes my clients are forced to skip their long training runs. What I have found is that often people are very bad at rearranging a week’s running schedule when it is disrupted by work, school, or family. Let’s use the below week as an example:
Mon: Easy hour with a stride each mile.
Tue: Eccentric Accelerations: 2mi warm up, 6 miles of 2:00 hard downhill + 2:00 easy uphill, 2-mile cooldown
Wed: Easy hour.
Friday: Easy hour with a stride each mile
Sat: Long Run: Easy 16 miles + 2 miles at goal marathon pace
Workouts on Tuesday and Saturday with some easy running and rest days.
What You Should Not Do
When you miss a long or hard run, the main thing you should avoid is simply sticking it in later in the week than it was scheduled without modifying the other runs.
Let’s say you miss the Tuesday, run but throw it in on Thursday and then stay with the schedule as written. That means you’re going into a Saturday 18 miler with only a single day of easy running before it. You’ll go into the 18 miler extra fatigued so you’ll have a lower quality run and you will require more recovery time after the 18-miler and that could impact your runs next week!
If you miss an easy general run it is often tempting to add the miles in later in the week. In the above week if you miss Monday or Wednesday adding the run in on Thursday would be fine but likely not on Friday or Sunday. Friday is meant to sharpen the legs for the long run, not build up fatigue, which more miles risks. Sunday is a regeneration day and an hour run would possibly slow recovery from your long run and negatively influence the next week.
What You Should Do if you Miss a Long Training Run:
The easiest method of making up a missed run is to not make it up. It’s gone, you missed it. Move on. In the above weekly example you could add an easy hour in on Thursday to make up weekly miles but if you miss the hard workout it’s likely best to leave it be missed.When you do desire to make up a missed workout, the two considerations you must be mindful of are:
- Don’t put the workout within two days of another workout. So if you miss Tuesday you could do it on Wednesday since you’ll be able to recover on Thursday and Friday before the long run.
- You may need to cut out another run to foster adequate recovery opportunity. If you did the Saturday workout on Sunday you may need to take Monday fully off from running.
Training schedules are written assuming you do the workout on the day it is prescribed and go into the next hard workout with adequate regeneration time before it. When you skew the layout it risks lowering the quality of workouts and too much training-load building up.
Single runs do not matter in the overall scheme of training. Missing even one close to race day will not influence your running performance. Don’t stress if a workout is skipped or you miss a few miles in a week!
Run consistently, frequently, and have patience over time. That’s what leads to running improvement.
Thanks for the insights, Kyle! As runners with type-A personalities, we are all definitely guilty of trying to get every last mile in, no matter what. Follow Kyle and his running adventures on his website (full of workouts and helpful training, and nutrition tips), Twitter , and Instagram @kyle_j_kranz.