Things don’t always go according to plan.

  • You find yourself two weeks off on your training plan
  • You’re a week away from a race you have no business running
  • Or, you just don’t feel like dragging yourself out into the rain this afternoon

Whatever it is, picking a plan B can mean the difference between a happy run and feeling guilty on the couch. Keep a few Plan Bs in your back pocket for those plans that go awry.

Plan B Running: What to do when your training goes awry

Choosing Plan B in Your Running Season

Possible Plan Bs for Races

  1. Eliminate all time goals, aim for completion
  2. Pick a decision point. Complete the first 50-75% of the race at an easy pace, then decide in the moment whether to push hard or complete at same pace
  3. Use race as a tune-up. Sign up for a Plan B race 1-3 weeks later
  4. If the race has multiple distance options, transfer to a shorter distance. Sign up for Plan B race 4-18 weeks later

Plan B for Races: What to do when your training goes awryPossible Plan Bs for Training

  1. During a hard week, remember that easy runs are for recovery. If you need a zero-mile day to recover, that’s perfect – not a failure
  2. Missed a bunch of runs? “Get back on the horse” with a week of easy, routine running that will get you back into your groove without pushing your body too hard (Read: How to make up missed runs)
  3. Need a plan revision? Calculate time left before goal race. Identify the “meat” of the training plan (ie tempo runs, long runs) and re-write the plan starting with your new beginning point. Aim for a lesser peak (shorten the peak long run or tempo run times) to make sure you don’t overtrain in your new timeline. (Read: How to avoid overtraining)
  4. Consider restarting a training plan if you’ve been away for an extended amount of time (Read: Tips for getting back on track)

Possible Plan Bs for Day to Day

  1. Still run, but shorten the run
  2. Go for an easy run, rather than a harder effort
  3. Do part or all of your run on the treadmill if outside conditions are not cooperating
  4. Do yoga and recovery work instead
  5. Make a rule: no 2 skip days in a row. Run tomorrow.

Check out more plan Bs and become a more consistent runner in the ebook 10 Hacks to Get You out the Door and Running.

I’m on a Plan B.

I had to revise my training plan, trimming off all the fat and icing on the cake. I’m back to basics (and all the clichés) to ready myself for my half marathon in a few weeks.

Are you on Plan A, Plan B, or somewhere further down the alphabet?