With the best laid plans, life gets in the way and you may not be able to squeeze in all the workouts you had so virtuously planned at the start of the week.

Here’s what NOT to do:

1 Don’t cram them all into one big session.  You may end up overtraining, resulting in sickness or injury.

2 Don’t throw the towel in.  Missing a session or two should not be the signal to give up on the rest of your training week.

3 Don’t worry about it.  It’s done, the workout-opportunity is in the past.  Your fitness is not going to fall apart if you miss a session or two, so think about your next session instead of dwelling on the session that never was.

The following guidelines will ensure you get the best out of your training week even when you have to skip a few sessions.

Don’t fuel burnout. It’s the end of a long day, you’ve been living off coffee trying to keep up with your deadlines and your to-do list has run off with someone else.    As much as you would love to sweat it out and release some stress in a high-intensity class, what you really need is a little mental downtime.  Exercise, is a stress, after all.  In most cases a positive stress, but a stress nevertheless.  A hard workout on top of a high-stress day will lead to burn out, leading to you not being able to work or work out.  So when your nervous system has been overloaded it’s time for a little om-action.  Yoga, pilates, a stretching or mobility class, will give you a little mental time out.  Save the high-energy workout for another day.

High-intensity over long-distance.  Your 5k race is coming up soon, you had a sprint session, and a long run in your schedule.  Looks like you are only going to get to do one of the runs, so which one should you choose?  Sprints should be your priority as they are anaerobic in nature and will improve your aerobic long runs.  Anaerobic training has a positive impact on aerobic training but not the other way around.  So doing more sprint sessions will make your long runs better.  And whilst they are more intense, sprints take less time, so you end up quicker and with more time on your hands!

Resistance training over cardio.  You are enjoying the physical results of your training, you are stronger, you look and feel better and you’re in this healthy-lifestyle thing for the long haul.  You have a weights session and a cardio session scheduled in but can now only fit one of them into your week.  Whilst the immediate after-effects of a cardio session have you buzzing with endorphins, the continued energy-burn long after your workout comes from a resistance session.  Sure, you may not feel quite as wiped as you would after your cardio session but you will continue to burn energy for several hours after you are done.  We’ll take that!