Have you ever looked at your training plan and found yourself wondering “should I skip my run today?”. I know I have. (More times than I care to admit)! I often struggle with trying to decide whether I am just feeling lazy and unmotivated, or am actually experiencing a legit reason to forgo my run for the day.
Despite my greatest intentions, I often find myself in the midst of a training plan feeling awfully unmotivated. Sometimes that running motivation has decreased as my body starts to feel tired from the increase in mileage, and sometimes it’s just been a busy week. Whatever the case, at some point during training I inevitably find myself planning out my day and wondering if it is okay from me to skip my run.
A few times throughout the year, especially in the spring and winter, the weather is a big factor in missing a run. When it’s icy or storming outside, I often have no option but to skip my run and opt for some cross training. However, more often than not, I find that my mind has this ability to turn my original reason for skipping a run into something that is greatly exaggerated. My original lack of motivation leads me to the excuse that I am tired, and then maybe getting sick, until I finally determine that I need to stay home in bed to recover from illness.
Needless to say, sometimes we are truly our own worst enemy. When running motivation is hard to come by, forcing yourself to stay motivated is a true challenge. Below is the list I created for myself so I know when it’s okay to skip a run, and when I need to suck it up. Here 6 times when you shouldn’t regret skipping a run, and 6 times you need to suck it up and just do it.
How to Know When to Skip a Run
6 Bad Reasons to Skip a 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. Running through adverse conditions will only make you stronger, so you will regret missing this run.
Related: Tips for Running in the Heat
My legs are a little tired today and I really would rather rest.
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! If the feeling persists after many days, then it’s time to reevaluate.
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. Don’t even think about skipping your run.
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 usual 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 😉 rather than missing your run today – get out there and see if it can help you feel better.
I have a lot to do tonight and am really stressed about getting it all done.
If you’re really that busy, you might want 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!
6 Legit Reasons to Skip Your Run Today
There is a layer of ice on the sidewalks and roads.
Slipping and sliding around on the ice adds a huge challenge and can drastically 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 lightning in the distance.
Even if the thunder and lightning 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 forgo your run and 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 miss more than just one day of running!
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, you will counteract the benefits of your workout by not getting enough sleep. Maybe opt for a short 10 minute workout, or something else that can be done to fill the void.
If all is said and done and you’re still not sure if it’s okay to skip running, take a rest day. But make sure to get back out there tomorrow. If you skip a run one day, it likely isn’t going to affect you in the long run – but it often leads to a spiral of low motivation. There are many times when you should be okay with a missed run, but make sure to tell yourself that this is only temporary. If you forgo your run today, take advantage of the extra time and then hit the ground running tomorrow.