What To Do If You Have A Workout Planned But You Feel A Bit Off


Hi folks,

Beautiful lichen (Monks hood?) in some moss, that I spotted whilst having a pit stop during my long bike ride today.

Beautiful lichen (monks hood?) in a bed of moss that I spotted whilst having a pit stop during my bike ride today. It has nothing to do with the subject of this post, I just liked it.

I hit the pool recently for a standard swim, but I felt ‘not quite right’ and my times were off, so what should one do in this situation? This is a critical question and here are your choices:

  1. Bag it! If you really feel that something is not right, seriously not right, just let it go and see how you feel tomorrow. Don’t try to make it up by doing an extra workout tomorrow, which is the old beginners mistake – just let it go.
  2. See how it goes and finish the workout! Sometimes you don’t feel quite right, but you’re not sick you’re just tired. Something mental or physical is slowing you down. The real trick for these workouts is to just suck it up, do the mileage, yardage, or time, and take note of how you feel a few hours later, and the next morning, when you should check your resting pulse. If it’s increased by 5 to 10 beats/minute, take another day off and tell your coach if you need to, as you might be overtraining. If all is well, resting pulse is fine, you can say to yourself that you did the right thing, as those workouts are the ones that really help your physical and mental fitness – they are special, in that this how you you’ll feel in the later stages of an endurance race, and you ‘sucked it up.’ Way to go!
  3. See how it goes and abandon ship! Sometimes you just know that this workout is a bad idea, so once again just let it go, as above. No big deal if all is well the next day. These things happen, but if you are overtraining or sick, take note and do the right thing.

Chose wisely my friends. I completed my standard swim with slower than usual times, but I felt fine, maybe even a little better, when it was over. I fortunately chose correctly, which doesn’t happen every time. The more you get to know your body the more likely you are to get it right, but even the best athletes get it wrong sometimes, and then it is important not to beat yourself up over it. It’s a great lesson because we only really learn from our mistakes.

-k @FitOldDog

Today’s workouts:

Workout PLAN Coach: Chris Hauth
Duration: 05:00:00
aerobic 5 hrs – all relaxed – no efforts, just steady low HR/light watts riding



  1. So while I was waiting for you at the top of the hill you were taking admiring the lichen!

  2. Hi Rory
    I knew you’d work it out, but then, the lichen part only took about 30 seconds. This is what Chris Hauth complains about all the time, “Morgan, stay focused, you’re always looking around.” It’s true, but what a lovely lichen it was, don’t you think, and the linked article (I did that later) is very interesting. I’ve always been impressed by the cooperative behavior that is the lichen.

  3. Ah, a gothic beginning.. A bit like “The Raven”

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.