When to Run and When to Stay In

What a dreary week it’s been! We definitely got spoiled by the weather in the first few weeks of summer, and now are receiving a reminder of all the ups and downs it can throw at us.

This week was supposed to be a ‘perfect’ training week for me, in terms of being able to get each workout in on the day it my training plan called for it.

Well, so much for that!

Summer Break (5)

While I have been free as a bird each morning this week, the weather had other plans for my running.

I’ve always made a point of completing my run when I originally planned to, rain or shine. I’ve run in the rain so many times now, and actually find it pretty enjoyable every once and I while! When I originally looked at the extended forecast for this week, I didn’t think twice about replanning runs when I saw rain in the forecast.

This week, however, has been much more intense than I anticipated. Each morning I woke up and looked at the hourly forecast along with the radar, and had to judge whether or not it was still okay for me to head out and run, or if it was safest to stay inside.


Even though my main focus has been weather this week, I thought I’d share a list of all the circumstances I consider when deciding whether or not I should head out the door for my run.

What Weather is Safe to Run In

When it’s still okay to run…

It’s miserably hot and humid outside, and I really don’t feel like running in it.

Get out there! But take a water bottle and make sure to wear sunscreen and light fitting clothes.

My legs are a little tired today and I really would rather rest.

Psch, sometimes a short, slow run actually helps shake them out and speeds up your recovery. As long as there are no specific, sharp pains – you’ll feel better if you hit the roads!

I’m feeling incredibly lazy and unmotivated and just want to binge watch tv.

Oh this is when you need to run the most. Head out for a few miles at least, and you might find that your motivation returns. If not, then at least you’ll be able to binge watch guilt free when you get back.

It’s raining/snowing outside right now!

As long as it’s just precipitation and there’s no severe weather, it’s time to go running. The rain or snow might actually mix up your usually routine and help you enjoy your run more than normal.

My nose is running and I might be getting a cold.

As long as you don’t have a fever and all your symptoms are above the neck, it will probably help you feel better to go for a short run. Running promotes blood flow and always helps me feel less sorry for myself 😉

I have a lot to do tonight and am really stressed about getting it all done.

If you’re really that busy, you may have to shorten the distance you planned to run, but getting out there for even a mile or two will help you manage your stress. I’ve always found that running helps me be more productive throughout the day!

When it’s safest to stay inside and skip your run without guilt…

There is a layer of ice on the sidewalks and roads.

Slipping and sliding around on the ice adds a huge challenge, and can majorly increase our chance of injury. It’s best to skip your run and stay inside for some cross training, or maybe a treadmill run instead.

I hear thunder and see lightening in the distance.

Even if the thunder and lightening seem far off, it’s safest to stay indoors for your workout. Check your radar and local weather forecast to be sure – if I see any yellow or red on the radar I always opt to stay inside. 

My right leg hurts in one specific spot all day long, and feels worse when I walk or run on it.

Uh oh, pain in a localized area that does not lessen up when you rest is definitely a sign of injury. You may need to take more than just one day off!

I have a fever and miserable cough.

When you have a temperature and/or your symptoms are from the neck down, it’s definitely best to stay inside and rest. You will help your body immensely, and be able to return to running sooner than if you ran through it and ended up making yourself more sick.

I have felt burned out and sluggish for the past few weeks.

Burnout is a huge sign of mental and physical fatigue. Whether that’s from over training, the onset of an illness, or too much stress, you will do yourself a favor by taking a day off and waiting until you are fully ready to return.

The only way I can get my run done is if I sacrifice more than 2 hours of my normal amount of sleep.

While sometimes it’s necessary to wake up before dawn to get your workouts in, if that means that you’ll only end up getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep that night, the benefits of your workout will probably be counteracted by the fact that your body didn’t get enough sleep. You must have an incredibly busy day ahead of you, and it’s probably better to be rested up for it! Maybe opt for a short 10 minute ab workout, or something else that can be done to fill the void.

Whenever I am not wanting to head out the door for a run, I always check myself to see if it’s because of severe weather, ice, lack of sleep, or illness. If not, it’s probably just laziness and I know I will feel better if I just get it done!

Happy running, friends!

Taking a Rest Day or Sticking to Your Plan
When to Take a Rest Day
When to Take a Rest Day


Leave a Reply