Often before a run, I don’t feel like running at all. This is normally time to run through my list of arguments why I should go for a run today – and most of the time, this works for me, I go for it and usually don’t regret it. But sometimes however, there are good and valid reasons to skip the run. And then it is best to act accordingly. What are such reasons?
1. You are not feeling well
If you are sick or just recently recovered from a bug, you definitely should not start running directly again. Serious illnesses such as myocarditis can result from running again too early, and this should not be taken lightly. If you had a cold or some similar illness, its best to start slow and only after 1-2 weeks of recovering!
But sometimes, I don’t quite feel great without really being sick. On these days it is most difficult for me to decide: Should I go out and run off any unwellness or should I sit it out and see whether or not I am getting sick? I have tried both and sometimes it worked, after a run I felt good and did not get any more sick. But sometimes it did not work and just when I was finishing my workout, I felt that cold creeping over me. I have not found any good rule to decide when it is safe to run or not. So most of the time, I take it slow or skip the run and see how I feel next day.
2. Your day will be too stressful
Stress is such a common occurrence for most of us. And running helps to relieve stress and make us more resilient against it! But sometimes, the day simply is too packed and squeezing in that run will only make it worse. These days it might be best to not do it, better save some time to make the rest of the day more bearable – but don’t forget to get back to it tomorrow, because it will help you with that stress!
If time is too tight for a full run, you might at least be able to squeeze in some other form of exercise – even if it is just some self-weight exercises! Those are great to do in some spare minutes as most of them need no equipment. And they offer a fantastic opportunity to train some of those muscles that are not trained by running, but are beneficial for this; such as the core muscles. I personally don’t really like any form of strength training, but recently I start feeling the benefit from doing some (after recovering from a really nasty lumbago a couple of months ago).
3. Your legs still hurt from that last session
Sometimes, we overdo it in our training and the legs keep hurting for a few days afterwards. I try to judge this as a good sign, because it means there was some serious training involved! Still it hurts and running with hurting, heavy legs is not fun. This might be a good opportunity to rest because rest days are just as important as good training sessions! If you still want to move, you might try some different form of exercise or just do a slow, easy recovery run to not hurt your muscles any more!
4. The couch is too attractive
Wait, what? Is this a valid reason? Well, heck, I have had enough of these days when I was planning for a nice run in the afternoon but then somehow went to the couch first… and got stuck. And that sure is okay, if it does not happen every time! Enjoy this guilty pleasure with caution 🙂
What are your valid reasons to skip that run? Do you have your own strategy of overcoming that initial effort to go out?