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How does skipping workouts or pausing Garmin Coach affect the training plan?

Sometimes life happens. Even when you are as dedicated to your Garmin Coach training plan as you can be. You may need to skip one or more workouts or you could be considering pausing your plan due to time constraints, injury or something else. What will happen to your adaptive training plan if you do?

Skipping one or more Garmin Coach workout

You can skip a run by deleting it from the plan or simply letting it go by without doing it. It can also happen that a run you did isn’t recognized as Coach workout and the plan just thinks you skipped it. So, what happens to the plan when you skip one or more workouts?

The impact of a skipped run is determined by the type of run that you skip. Is it a short easy run or weekly repeating drill? Your confidence level might be impacted, but the rest of your training plan will continue as normal.

Did you skip a long run or speed workout with weekly increasing intervals? The plan will adjust and repeat the same workout again next week. It’s not going to keep doing that though as it will always have your end date/race day in mind. Another skipped the week after will mean your plan will progress to the next step.

If you skip multiple runs in a row or in a short period, you’ll activate an article “How skipped workouts impact adaptive training”. It tells you that one skipped run won’t derail your goal, but multiple skips might. You’ll get suggestions to reschedule workouts, pause the plan or adjust your goal and your confidence level will decrease further.

Pausing the Garmin Coach training plan

Instead of skipping runs, you can also choose to pause your training plan. Scheduled workouts will be removed from your calendar until you decide to resume the plan. When you resume the plan, Garmin Coach will ask you why you paused the plan and give you four possible answers:

  • I had an injury
  • I was out of town
  • Life got busy for me
  • I prefer not to say

How long you had your plan paused and what you answer when you resume, will impact how your training plan will continue from here. If you select you were injured, you will be set back one or two weeks in your plan to allow you to ease back into your plan. Keep in mind that it can only do this if there is enough room between where you are in the training plan and your race day.

If you select any of the other options, your plan will pick up where you left it, or even a bit further along.

When you try to resume your training plan after your original end date, you’ll only get a message saying “Congratulations! This plan is complete.”. There is no way to solve this, your plan is now finished. You can prevent this if you think this might happen by changing the end date of your training plan before pausing it.

Conclusion

When your training plan isn’t going quite as you’d like, it’s adaptive algorithm is designed to have your back when possible. Keep in mind though, there is only so much an algorithm is going to be able to do for you. Decide for yourself if the adaptions are right for you and always listen to your body.


For more information on Garmin Coach, check out these links below: 

9 thoughts on “How does skipping workouts or pausing Garmin Coach affect the training plan?”

  1. Pingback: Garmin Coach FAQ - My Runner's Life

  2. Hi!
    Thanks for good information.
    If you initially choose the latest race day possible. Then pause the plan for to weeks, can you then choose a new race date two weeks later? Or are you ‘stuck’ with the initial race date?

    1. Hi Annette,
      Yes, you normally should be able to do that. It can be that you need to be close to race day to make the change though. The plan calculates the workouts based on weeks until race day, so you could get some repeating weeks.

  3. Hi! When you pause the plan a pop up asking ‘Pause Training Status’ appears (seen in your screen shot). What is this – it seems to be different to the Training Plan itself?
    Great info, great blog!

  4. Hello,
    thanks for the information. I do like the idea of using the Garmin coach plan to improve my running, but I do find it frustrating that it doesn’t allow you to include runs that you make regularly.
    The whole reason I am using the plan is to improve my ParkRun. I run a parkrun, every Saturday and it is always between 24 and 26 mins, unless I run a particularly hilly parkrun. (eg.. Mole Valley).
    If I leave Saturday as a rest day, I’m losing a rest day, even though I’m not resting and the plan thinks I’m up for a tougher run, either on Friday or Sunday.
    If I add it, as a day that I am running, the plan enters a run, which means, I end up with being faced with two runs in one day. Unfortunately my knees aren’t up to that. If I skip the plan workout, which I will do every Saturday, then the Plan gets unbalanced trying to accomodate the workout being regularly skipped.
    I can enter a workout into the calendar but that still isn’t recognised by the Plan. I understand that the Plan does change the schedule based on occasional skipping, but I’m surprised that it can’t accomodate a regular workout.
    Any ideas on how to resolve this issue.

    1. I would reschedule it so an easy run of at least 26 min is planned on Saturday. You’ll probably be running faster, but after 3 warnings the watch will stop bugging you about that.

  5. I’m on the 10km plan from Coach Greg. Pausing my training plan for a second reset it to “easy runs” instead of picking up to where I was. I chose the I “prefer not to say” as it didn’t match any of the other choices. How can I get back to where I was?

    I originally paused it as I read that it will let you do a missed workout (I missed one the day before).
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks

    1. I don’t think pausing the plan will let you do a missed workout. You shouldn’t mess with it too often. Let it go and keep following the plan, it’ll pick back up.

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