Consistency does not equal rigidity

18 Sep

We all hear over and over that in training for any long distance running goal or event, “Consistency is key.” Of course, if you keep a regular routine and follow a plan, you are more likely to see results over time. However, consistency does not mean rigidity.

Enter: flexibility. Every training plan needs it. Why? Because sometimes you simply can’t avoid life getting in the way of your best intentions to get a workout in.

Sometimes you lose that carefully crafted window of time allotted for that run or strength training session. Whether it’s traffic, an escaped kitty, a sick child, an impromptu dinner with friends, or an emergency – there are times when you just have to accept that it’s not going to happen today and make necessary adjustments.

For the most part, if you miss a run or key workout during a training cycle, you’re going to be fine. Especially if you’ve been consistently reaching your goals otherwise.

Just take a breath and readjust.

That said, all day yesterday I looked forward to squeezing a quick run in the beautiful Fall sun after work and before heading to a friend’s for dinner. That run never happened, thanks to circumstances beyond control. (We had to cancel the dinner plans, too. Boo.)

It’s OK, though. Today was another day. Considering I exercise flexibility in my training schedule pretty regularly (such as moving workouts around to different times or days), accepting a blip in my plan wasn’t too hard.

Tonight I was able to take advantage of another fantastic autumn sunset for nearly 5.5 miles at a moderate pace (8:33/mile).

Loving this weather!

Loving this weather!

I followed my run with an arm strength circuit and this 8 minute core workout that Laura posted in our online coaching forum:

8 minute core


It felt a little bit like torture, but I’m sure it will payoff when my ab modeling contract comes through.

Question for you: How do you handle unexpected changes in your training plan?


4 Responses to “Consistency does not equal rigidity”

  1. kristenk September 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    So true! I had big plans for running today, and then I was on my way out of the office and noticed my coworker looking super stressed and upset. I asked her if she wanted to get a coffee and talk, which turned into a 2 hour hangout session that we both really needed. I’m a bit upset about missing my run, but I’m glad that I was able to help my friend out when she needed it! I’ll run tomorrow for sure!

    • Nikki September 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      I have this policy of family and friends first – if there is a crisis or I’m needed, then that will always come before a run! Sounds like it was the right choice for you.

  2. Nick September 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    You nailed it, Nikki – flexibility! You just gotta roll with the changes that life rings out…I know if I did not keep an open mind about re-arranging workouts (up to a point, at least) then I would have quit a long time ago! Life is fleeting, and we must be as nimble as the sands of the hourglass if we wish to avoid missing it!

    • Nikki September 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Absolutely – we need wiggle room!

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