• Tim Bradley, Director Of Training

Ask Coach Bradley - What To Do If You Fall Behind Your Training Schedule

Whether you are part of our CARA training programs, working towards your next 5k PR, or a beginning runner CARA Director of Training and Head Coach Tim Bradley is here to answer your training questions!


Q: Due to the recent stretch of challenging weather, I fell behind in my training. Is there a way to “catch up” or add more training later on in my schedule?


A: While it is certainly common to fall behind in training, especially during the winter months, you can still find ways to carefully add back volume and slowly close the gap between where your fitness is and where you would like it to be. You of course cannot go back in time and make up the missed training days, but you can look forward and potentially add on extra miles to certain days. Additionally, you can consider increasing your running frequency.

However, the first priority is to get back on track to the original running volume you had scheduled before adding anything extra. Once you have a week or two of consistent running and you are back to your normal frequency, then you look at days where you can add a mile or add a run. A simple method is to just add a mile to each training run you have planned going forward. Especially on shorter mid-week runs. Example below…


Original Plan


Monday: 5mi Missed Run

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 6mi

Thursday: 5mi Missed Run

Friday: REST

Saturday: 10mi

Sunday: REST


Planned Mileage: 26 mi | Actual Mileage: 16mi

Make Up Week 1 (Get Back to Original Volume)


Monday: 5mi

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 6mi

Thursday: 5mi

Friday: REST

Saturday: 10mi

Sunday: REST


Planned Mileage: 26 mi | Actual Mileage: 26mi

Make Up Week 2 (Add on Extra Mile for Each Run )


Monday: 5mi + 1mi

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 6mi + 1mi

Thursday: 5mi + 1mi

Friday: REST

Saturday: 10mi + 1mi

Sunday: REST


Planned Mileage: 26mi | Actual Mileage: 30mi

Make Up Week 3 (Add on Extra Mile for Each Run and One Extra Day of Running)


Monday: 5mi + 1mi

Tuesday: REST (Add 3-4mi Run)

Wednesday: 6mi + 1mi

Thursday: 5mi + 1mi

Friday: REST

Saturday: 10mi + 1mi

Sunday: REST


Planned Mileage: 26mi | Actual Mileage: 33-34mi

The only nice thing about missed runs is that they should leave you fresh and eager to tackle your training going forward. However, a common mistake is for runners to try to get it back all within the next run or the next week. This is typically a recipe for injury. Over time though, if you take a steady approach and increase gradually, you can eventually make up the cumulative mileage you missed and get your fitness back on track.


Have a training question? E-mail us at training@cararuns.org.

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