In training as in life, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
Not every workout goes well. Your most challenging high-intensity runs are especially likely to be harder than expected, because they challenge your performance limits and thus require a level of mental and physical readiness that you don’t have every day. You can limit the number of bad workouts you experience by developing a training routine that balances training stress and relative rest in a way that works for you. But you will still have the occasional bad day.
How should you respond when you start a planned hard workout only to discover that you feel lousy and are perhaps unable to meet your performance goals for the session? Should you grind it out? Go easy instead? Just go home? The answer to all of these questions is yes. In other words, you have to treat each case independently and base your decision on the specific nature and degree of your bad day.
As a general rule, you should try to complete the workout as planned, but this is not always wise or even possible. When this is the case, there are four other options to consider. Let’s take a quick look at the five ways to respond to a bad training day.