The Irish Catholic’s Guide To Missed Workout Guilt

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned! It’s been three days since my last run.

I fell off the horse last week (not that I completely understand why a horse should be the thing most commonly “fall[en] off of”).

Of course, we all have occasional periods where it can be difficult to do even the things that we love to do.

Sometimes it’s a lack of motivation. Other times you’re overtraining and burning yourself out. And sometimes it’s factors completely beyond your control, like the demands of work or an injury. For instance, this very accurate video will give you a good idea of what The Day Job™ can sometimes be like for me.

Regardless of the root cause, the goal is to get yourself back to your sport as quickly as possible. Or, as Gena over at Choosing Raw put it, to never “let one bad day turn into two.”

Getting back on the horse

The insidious thing about missed workouts is the way they tend to multiply. They latch onto your sense of guilt and begin to reproduce. Pretty soon, what was a single missed run becomes a week of missed runs. And the longer you let that guilt build and fester, the harder it becomes to get back on track.

We all fail occasionally. That’s part of being human. When you miss a workout, it’s okay to feel a twinge of regret.

However, we learn more from success than failure, in spite of the old axioms. Therefore, the key is not to perseverate on your failures. Instead, you have to get back out there and succeed!

It’s in that spirit that I’m going to offer you the best advice I’ve heard for handling missed workouts.

Get Over It

That’s right! Get over it! How, you ask? With the simple act of runner’s contrition.

Being penitent

Take it from this Irish Catholic: there’s nothing wrong with a little guilt. It’s what keeps us honest.

If you’ve missed some workouts, acknowledge your part in missing them. Don’t assign blame, but attempt to understand why you committed your workout sin. Did you skip out because you were feeling lazy? Or was there really something beyond your control keeping you from working out?

Keep in mind that injuries, and pre-injury rest, are absolved by default.

Then, once you understand why you missed your workout, accept the fact that lost workouts are past and gone and reaffirm your commitment to the workouts yet to come. Rather than focus on your guilt around having missed a workout, recognize that your running has already forgiven you. So forgive yourself, then get out there and run.

As for me, I missed my scheduled runs out of nothing better than sheer laziness last week, so I’ve got some penance to perform. I guess it’s three “Our Fartleks” and two “Hill Marys” for me.

Have you committed a running sin? Confess in the comments below.


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