What To Do When You Miss a Run in Your Marathon Program

Sunday, 6 November 2016  |  Running + Triathlon


I’m 3 weeks away from Florence Marathon and I’ve missed more runs than I ever have in any other marathon training program I’ve done the past decade.  To say that I’m worried about how I’ll fare in the marathon is an understatement.

Why did I miss them? My training program got attacked by the common cold.  Yup, such an evil menace that cold!  I had the sniffles last month, lost my voice and had fever a couple of weeks ago, and I have sore throat and congestion again now.  I have never been sick as often as this in the entire past decade of my running life!

It’s annoying, frustrating, and maddening, especially for someone who lives as healthy as I do.  I feel like I’m just suddenly exposed to so much germs around me and, with my immunity low due to the long runs, these viruses just love me.  Argh.

Okay, enough with the ranting! (See what happens when I miss my long run on a Sunday! I’m a raging bull!)  I’m here to help in case you find yourself in a similar situation now or in the future.

What do you do when you miss runs in your training program due to illness, work, or <insert good excuse here>?  Read my tips below.  By the way, laziness, rain (there are treadmills!), or late night partying doesn’t count!

1- Never, never try to make up for lost time.  If you missed one or two runs in the program, skip it and just start on your current date.  DO NOT try to squeeze all those missed runs into one week.  You may injure yourself or overtrain.  Or, hey, you just might get sick again.

2- If you missed just one run and it’s not because of an illness, then switch it to another day.  Over the years, I’ve encountered runners who find every excuse to “miss” a workout.  From “we’re going on a trip” to “I had to work late last night,” I’ve heard it all.  Thing is, and I posted this on my Instagram couple of weeks ago: “If you miss your Sunday long run, just remember that there’s always Monday.”

– Ran my Sunday long run on a Monday morning in the gym! –

3- If you missed an important long run, such as the only 32k that you have to do for the entire marathon program, then try to do it within the week.  You cannot miss the longest run.  For more experienced marathoners, you can even run the 32k just 2 weeks before the marathon if you know that your body will recover in time.

And, that my friends, is exactly what I plan to do.  I missed my 32k run today because I’m sick again.  I was planning to run it at the New Balance Power Run 25k and just run extra before and after the race.  I was all set with my bib.  But, nope, this stupid cold had other plans!


– Thanks New Balance for the race kit. So sad I missed this one –

So, I’m planning to run it next week after Pinoy Fitness Sub-21k.  I better be back in the pink of health then!  Crossing my fingers and my dead toenails for this! lol.