Lazy or Exhausted? When You Should & Shouldn’t Skip Your Run

lazy or exhausted?

This morning, my alarm went off at 6am.

I was feeling tired, it was raining outside, and bed was so appealing. So i convinced myself that I could sleep more now, get up, do some work then run later.

And you know what…the run didn’t happen.

I know myself and running *later* is not a good idea, unless I’m meeting someone or running home from work. I find it really hard to motivate myself to run in the evening, and to be honest, this week, I’m finding it hard to motivate myself at all and I’ve swapped & skipped more runs than I am proud to admit.

lazy or exhausted?

I listened to a great blog post by Rogue Runner’s that said you shouldn’t make up for runs you’ve missed, you’ve either got a really good reason to miss it, or you’re not the athlete you thought you were.

Tough to hear, but kind of true.

When is it laziness to skip a run or when is it listening to your body and resting? 

For me, I ask myself if I’ll feel guilty for NOT running. Will I regret NOT training? If the answer is yes, then I know it’s me being lazy, giving excuses not to workout.

Reasons that it’s NOT ok to skip the run/workout… (each to their own, of course!) 

-The weather. Icy – get on a treadmill. Wet – wear an anorak. Cold – put on more layers. Hot – slow down.

A hangover. Drink less next time, hydrate more. Feel sorry for yourself. Swap your workouts around to do an easy run, but if you’ve got yourself into the mess, you can get yourself out of it.

Poor planning. Misread your workout (how do I do this so often?), get to the track late, not get up early enough.

– It feels hard. This means not missing reps, or bailing early on a workout due to timing or it just feeling ‘too hard’. I’ve thrown up during Yasso 800s, got so sweaty that I’ve had to sit on a towel in my car, and wanted to give up many many times. But I know the harder I work in training, the easier race day will feel. That’s not to say I haven’t thrown the towel in early on a workout before, or got into my head before I even start – but I’m trying really hard not to.

lazy or exhausted?

However, there are also a lot of times that not running is the right thing;

Exhaustion. The more I read and listen to podcasts talking about sleep, the more I realise that it is our most useful training tool but biggest hindrance. If your truly exhausted, then extra sleep trumps extra miles. And I’m not just talking – went to bed because I was watching Grey’s Anatomy tired.

When you’re ill. I can do an easy run with a headache, but a migraine floors me, and no way can I do anything. If you’ve got V&D, the flu, a cough or – as a general rule – anything below the head, you shouldn’t run.

Injury – please do NOT run if you’re injured. Or if something feels tweaky, go and get a second opinion. Rest, ice, foam roll, see a physio or doctor.

When you’re overwhelmed. Life is busy. It’s hard. Sometimes running slips down the list of priorities when other things have to take precedent. Running is your hobby, no matter how seriously you want to take it and how important your goals. Give yourself a break if you need it…really need it.

Family first… have a family day, birthday, Christmas, or event that just isn’t feasible (or right) to head out for a run. Especially a long run or workout. Swap things around and enjoy the family event.

when to skip your run  

Ultimately, the best piece of advice I was given. One that I come back to is ‘No one can do it for you’ – if you want something, it’s on you. Skip a run – that’s your choice (or your life!). Make the decision, one way or another.

Personally, looking back at the skipped runs over the past month, most of them have been legitimate. A couple haven’t. I’m totally OK with the legit missed runs when I’m doing the best I can, but the other missed runs – well those I’m not OK with. I want to stand on the starting line knowing that I’ve done everything I could to be in the best shape to run a PR in Phoenix…

Would love to know your thoughts on this! Do you skip runs when training? How do you know when it’s right to swap/skip a run or power through?

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