Should I Make Up for Missed Triathlon Training Sessions?

Training for any endurance event requires discipline, structure, and consistency. But let’s be honest—life happens. Sometimes you miss a training session. When that occurs, the question that looms in the minds of many athletes is, “Should I make up for the missed session?” The answer isn’t a simple yes or no; it varies depending on the type of training session missed. If you’re working with a coach, it’s essential to collaborate with them to adjust your training schedule—after all, that’s what they’re there for! If you’re not working with a coach but find the mental energy of planning draining, consider reaching out to learn more about coaching below!

Missing a Recovery Session

Should You Make Up for It?

No. Recovery sessions are designed to give your body a break. Missing one isn’t the end of the world.


  1. Listen to Your Body: If you missed a recovery session but feel like you need it, opt for light activity like a walk or a yoga session.
  2. Prioritize Sleep: The point of a recovery day is to allow your body to heal. Ensure you get quality sleep to help with this.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help with muscle recovery.

Missing a Long Endurance Session

Should You Make Up for It?

Possibly, but it’s crucial to avoid back-to-back long sessions as it increases injury risk. If you can’t get in a full long session getting in what you can is still beneficial.


  1. Reschedule Smartly: Try to move the missed session to a day where it doesn’t collide with another long or intense session where you will have some time to recover after it.
  2. Shorten the Distance: If making up the full session isn’t feasible, consider doing a slightly shorter version to get in what you can.
  3. Move on: If you can’t reschedule, take advantage of the recovery time, and plan it for another weekend or day when you can.

Missing a Key Race Pace Session

Should You Make Up for It?

Yes, but with caveats. Race pace sessions are essential for goal setting and mental preparation.


  1. Avoid Doubling Up: Never try to combine a missed key race pace session with another high-intensity day. This spells disaster for your muscles and recovery.
  2. Use a Lighter Week: If you have a lighter training week coming up that was meant to be recovery after a hard key race pace session, that’s an excellent time to make up for the session and you will be rested going in.  Make sure to still take some time to recover after it too.
  3. Analyze Why: Understand the reason behind missing the session. If it was due to fatigue or injury, evaluate if you are ready to tackle such an intense workout or if you would be better off modifying.

General Guidelines for Any Missed Session

  1. Don’t Panic: Missing a single session will not ruin your overall performance. Training is about the cumulative effect over months of consistency and triaining.
  2. Adjust the Plan, but Don’t Overcompensate: It’s tempting to go all out to ‘make up’ for the lost time. This usually leads to overtraining and burnout.
  3. Consult Your Coach: If you have a coach, consult with them to adjust your training schedule smartly.

Remember, training is not just about physical strength but also about adaptability and resilience. Sometimes missing a session can be a blessing in disguise, offering you an unexpected yet needed rest day. Always listen to your body and adjust your training plan as needed. 

If you don’t want to worry about how to reschedule if life gets in the way, take the mental energy out of training, worrying about if you are doing too much, too little or the right training reach out for a free consultation to learn more about coaching options!

Coach Jenna-Caer

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