Missing a day when following a plan


Can anyone give any guidance on what is best for training purposes when you have to miss a session due to other commitments?

Normally I would just bump all workouts along a day and then catch up when there was supposed to be a scheduled rest day, however it always makes me wonder if I am then missing a cruical rest day! Is it better for training purposes to still have all rest days or do what I have been doing?

It would also be good if weekly sessions could be graded so you could ensure you do the most important session for the week, if this at all possible? Not sure if it can be done from a training point of view but thought I would ask!

Thanks in advance for any tips/help

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Check out this article for general guidance if you’ve not seen it…


Hello Sir Craig, when following a training plan and finding yourself unable to complete a workout it is always best to just skip the workout and move on. There are a couple of reasons for this path. First, a training plan is specifically written to follow certain patterns or training stimulus sequences so to rearrange the workouts would see the patterns shuffled and training stimuli out of place. Second, if you miss a workout it is usually due to lack of time because of a work or life commitment, which means, there is a high likelihood that you have been busy and had more stress on that day so a workout would not be met with optimal training readiness or would put additional stress on the body that would have a negative outcome for the following workouts. A rush to fit in a workout would also most likely see you have incomplete or inadequate nutrition readiness to sustain the workout adding to the bodies stress.

Rest Days in a training plan are some of your most important days! The key to training is to stress the bodies energy systems and then back off to let them adapt to the training stimulus. If you do not have a rest day or try to “push through” adding missed workouts on your rest days you will risk overreaching and not allow the body to reap the adaptations and gains from the previous work done. Even though you are following a plan, if you feel overly fatigued or stressed, it is better to skip a workout than to push through and create a potential deficit resulting in a negative outcome for future workouts. Train hard but also rest hard and completely. If you need muscle activation or feel a bit sore you can always do a yoga or a stretching session on a rest day. Also, remember to take extra care to fuel well on rest days to prepare for the training ahead.

Appreciate your suggestions for graded workouts and we are in a constant state of growth and change in our training plan library so keep a look out for new content In the meantime, the best way to grade your own workouts is to ask yourself, “what is the focus of this training plan?” and then what is my biggest identified weakness based on my 4DP results taken from the Full Frontal? The answers to these 2 questions should help you identify 2-3 key workouts a week.

Keep up the work, listen to your body and when it needs rest and you will see the gains!


Simon B.
Yet another informative, helpful and concise post from the coaches on the forum. It is in a small way linked to advice that I am searching which is in another post but probably not seen by any coaches. I was going to make a new post but didn’t want to get on peoples nerves!
Im struggling to choose a plan and wondered if I could direct your attention to my questions which were:

I have really been missing the outdoors over the last couple of weeks and to that end am struggling to find a suitable training plan (unless there are any half price offers on a customised one :slightly_smiling_face:) so hoping to get coach Neal’s advice.
So workouts suggested for weaknesses are,
A Very Dark Place

Nine Hammers


14 Vise Grips

And strengths,The Downward Spiral

Half is Easy

The Trick

Cash Register.
The only one that fills me with Dread is "Nine Hammers’ although that might be doable now on accurate numbers.
If I do my favourite 90-150 min outdoor ride at zone 2/3 twice a week and three of the above, rest one day and recovery spin the other, would this be a feasible plan? Or shall I go with “Metric century” and tweak a little bit. Im enjoying Yoga so will be adding that too.

Thanks in Advance

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Hello Simon, for those with your identified strengths and weaknesses I would suggest that you could follow the Metric Century plan with some tweeks. The plan works both Z2 (mimicking the outdoor rides you like to do) combined with Sub Threshold (your secondary weakness).

If you want to create a hybrid plan, I would suggest working your weakness twice a week. I would space these target workouts out at least a day apart, do not do the target workouts back to back and to get the maximum benefit, do one of the workouts after a recovery day. Yoga would also be a beneficial addition.

All the best

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Thank you Simon.
To Clarify if you see below week 2

So as an example to get me on the right page, as it were, would I delete “Defender”?

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spoons52, I would suggest leaving the indoor workouts as written and revise the workout on the 26th to Z2. My reasoning for this is that your week will then be structured to work your main and secondary focus with added recovery.
21st: Recovery
22nd: Main Focus- MAP
23rd: Technique (Easy)
24th: Secondary Focus- Sustained Power FTP
25th: Main Focus- MAP
26th: After change- Z2 Endurance/Foundation
27th: Tempo/ Z3

As you know, we cannot provide individual coaching on the Forum platform but wanted to provide an explanation of structure as a learning tool for others.

All the best

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Thanks for your detailed reply @Coach.Simon.B it is much appreciated.

I was starting to wonder if the approach I was taking may in fact have a negative impact so thanks for confirming this. From previously doing my own thing and picking a few suf videos through the week without any real recovery, I have found that by following a set plan I am able to recover and push through the workouts.

I used to see the recovery sessions as a bit of a waste of time on the bike and think that I massively underestimated the impact that they have.

I am currently on the Map building block plan having just finished the 4 week ftp plan, I must say I have really enjoyed these plans and look forward to the final week of recovery!

Thanks again

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Sir_Craig, very few people understand just how important recovery days are to overall improvement. Think of it as a new car engine- it runs well, smooth and is fast. If you run it at full speed over time without rest or stopping for routine maintenance it may still run but not at optimal levels. Seeing your power plateau or little improvement almost always gets back to lack of adequate recovery cycles. Keep up the good work!


@Coach.Simon.B but what about when you miss two sessions a week and the next session is a reduced intensity session?

E.g., I missed Rookie yesterday, and will miss GOAT today (both at 100%). Tomorrow, I have Thin Air, but at reduced intensity. Thinking I should do that at 100%.

This happens more often than not. Life is busy and sometimes the sessions don’t fit, even in the lower volume plans.

@Erik-KOS Training Readiness should be evaluated each day. Best way to do this by monitoring your daily metrics such as, resting morning heart rate, hours of sleep and level of stress. For example if your morning heart rate is up by 5-6 beats from your regular daily value, it will be best for you to take an additional day of rest. If your heart rate has less variability than this, you can proceed with a workout but I would suggest at a reduced intensity. Hours of sleep and stress levels will also effect you heart rate, so it all plays hand in hand with your Training Readiness.

After missing a couple of days, you need to evaluate your Training Readiness and amount of training time available as well as the current focus of your training. In your case above, if you felt fresh and had an additional 15 minutes for a longer warm (as you haven’t been on the bike for two days) followed by Rookie at 100%. If you are not feeling as fresh but have missed a hard workout or two, complete the additional 15 minute (OPEN 15) then proceed with a shorter MAP focused workout such as Joyride at 95%. But yes, you could do Thin Air at 100% but this workout does not focus entirely on your weakness. You have the right approach in not trying to fit in missed workouts!