Delay in training schedule due to illness/fatigue

  • Creator
  • #59953
    Emanuel Rohss


    You’ve touched on this subject in general a couple of times but I wanted to ask you a specific question. Two days ago I noticed my general physical condition being overly fatigued, probably more that than some illness, as I combined the mountaineering training with another program and some additional climbing sessions, work, travel etc.

    As my body clearly wasn’t happy I skipped a session on Friday, and only did very mild recovery stuff Saturday (in place of outdoor running in the snow). So everything on my schedule is a bit screwed up now. Not a big deal maybe, but not sure how to play catch up once I feel like I can get back on the horse. Do I push everything on my schedule 2-3 days into the future, or do I just start with whatever is on my schedule on the given day I feel good to go again?

    Many thanks


  • Participant
    saulj on #59969

    I remember a podcast with both Steve and Scott and they talked about this specifically in the context of when Steve first started working with Scott. I did a quick search but I couldn’t find it, but I think it was near the beginning.

    Search for this one, I think it will cover the majority of your questions “Uphill Athlete Podcast – Talking Overtraining”

    If you don’t find the podcast or don’t have time to listen, I think they would say, start with whatever is on your schedule whenever you feel good and even then, reduce intensity and/or volume to see where you are. The program is a template, you have to adjust as you go. Don’t mess with overtraining, it will set you back for months, not just days.

    Good luck with your recovery!

    Nate Emerson on #60044

    Emanuel, I hear your concern.
    First I want to address that it’s normal to have a few days where we are feeling overly fatigued, just as it’s normal to occasionally feel great – like the workouts are too easy and you could do much more than the prescribed load.

    saulj’s recommendation is great: start back in as prescribed, but be cognizant of how your body responds. I would add: When you have a bout of extra fatigue it’s important to consider “under recovering” just as much as “over training”. For many athletes, their gains might be more affected by their ability to manage their recovery more than their ability to do the workouts. Try the sessions as planned, but pay attention to how you are feeling and moving in these workouts. An organized endurance training program is characterized by feelings of low level fatigue. Try not to let it get beyond that right now.

    Like saulj said – if you only missed a few days, you can continue as planned on the schedule and see how it’s feeling. In a transition period or early base period, there’s no need to “make up” days. But once an athlete has missed several workouts, maybe a week, they can’t pretend that they did the workouts and jump right back in the program. Once it’s a week or more, the athlete should be thinking about how they might step back to a previous week in the program.

    A rough guideline for athletes that train consistently is to not worry about a missed day here and there if the total *monthly* load isn’t diminished by more than 5%. That assumes that the program is well-calibrated to you and that there aren’t too many extra sessions or extra sources of stress like a major business trip or project completion.
    If monthly volume is diminished by more than 5%, it’s wise to start thinking about stepping back and making sure that the training volume is being layered on at a reasonable rate from that point.

    Since this program design is pretty new to most of the participants and we are in a transition period, it’s probably ok to allow for up to 10% diminished load. Your subjective interpretation of how the training is affecting you is probably more relevant than a specific metric at this point. With months (or better yet years) of training logged in TrainingPeaks, you could give stronger consideration to the training metrics to guide your decision.

    I suggest jumping back in, and paying attention to how you are tolerating everything. Most likely, you responded appropriately with the extra rest and your body will be happy resuming the training. Good luck!

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