When You Can’t Complete a Workout

Whatever the reason, when you can’t complete a workout, you feel like crap!

I don’t know anyone who feels good when they can’t complete a workout. Whether it is your mind, telling you you can’t go on, or your body, screaming that it’s too hard, not completing what you set out to do can be a mental set back.

So what do you do?

One of my friends said, “you just need to push through. When I climbed Mt. Everest, I got injured and practically crawled to the top.”

Pushing through on a race is an option, but when it comes to training, there are days when your body says, “enough.” My advice, rest. Take the day and let go of the negative thoughts. It’s easier to say than to do.

My Fiasco

The other day, I had a 35-mile bike ride. I had just come off the high of the 40-mile bike ride and was going to do it again. After packing up my bike in the car, I made sure all my computer and headphones were charged and ready to go. My water bottles were all prepared with The Right Stuff. I was ready.

I went to bed early and had a good night’s sleep. When I woke up, I was still exhausted. So, I stayed in bed for another hour. When I finally woke up, I was still sluggish and not feeling great. After debating on whether I should ride later in the day or try to do it early, I had a 1 pm meeting so my options were early or late. I opted for early. Having a feeling that later it would get less likely to get done, I decided for the early ride.

Heading over to Jones Beach Parking lot #6, I went through the gate. No one was there. I parked the car at the far end of the beach, near the boardwalk. I took the bike out of the car and immediately felt the cold air. It felt like winter was here. I wasn’t dressed for it. It was freezing!

I talked myself into heading out. On the bike, I rode toward Tobay Beach on the Tobay bike path. The wind was howling and the cold air hit my face. I could barely breathe. I struggled for nearly four miles and then turned around. The way back was easier. Then I headed toward Jones Beach. The wind kicked in again and I was crying. “I can’t do this…,” I said to myself. Not knowing if it was the wind or the fact that I was going 12 miles an hour, I felt like crying. It was a struggle.

Should I go to the end at Cedar Creek or should I just turn around and go home? Should I just go on the trainer at home?

What did I do?

I turned around, went to the car, and packed up the bike. It was upsetting and depressing.  I was mad at myself for not completing it. So, I wrote to my coach, Danielle Sullivan of Iron Fit Endurance and she wrote back, “Focus on the positive… how great you felt during the 40 Miler… Obviously, you need a rest and it’s perfect timing!! The taper starts tomorrow!! You will be ready to rock and feeling great for race day!! No need to feel upset about it… That’s what training is all about! Overload, then rest and recover!!!”

She was right. That’s something I would say to the people I work with. But for me, I couldn’t wrap my head around it at first.

After coming home, I took a nap. I felt exhausted and I realized Danielle was right.

Sometimes, you just have to go one step back to go two steps forward.