By: Arden Burrows
Whenever I miss more than a few days of training, I start to worry that I will lose all of my fitness. My brain goes into panic mode if I miss a week for illness or vacation and I start to think that all the hard work was for nothing.
I have come to learn though that missing one week of training or exercise will not compromise my whole season. In situations such as these, you have to look at the long term – one year from now, will you really have noticed that you didn’t train that one week back in April?
It’s important to take your training one-day at a time. Be in the moment and look at every day as a building block to something bigger. Missing three days or one week is just a minor hiccup. Tomorrow is a new day where you can start fresh, a new opportunity to exercise and work towards your goals.
Additionally, you will most likely not lose too much fitness and in within a few days of resuming training again, you should start to feel like yourself. Don’t let one interruption from training ruin your plans and look at the break as a positive thing: you are probably giving your body and mind a well-deserved rest, which can reduce your risk of injury, burnout etc. Also, if you are taking a break because of illness, your body needs the rest to recover as quickly as possible and exercising will not speed up the process. If you’re on vacation and you take a week off, don’t sweat it. Often it is difficult to find time or a place to exercise when you’re away. It’s better to enjoy your vacation, exploring a new place while not having to worry about having to work out.
Bottom line is, a break from exercise can make you anxious about losing fitness but it is important to look at the long term as well as the short term. Think about your training on a day-to-day basis where each day is a new opportunity to work towards your larger goals but also as little pieces that fit into a larger picture, and not worrying about missing a few of those little pieces.