Thursday, June 30, 2011

When NOT to Run

So you've been sufficiently pumped up to go running OR you are running and are staying sufficiently motivated to keep going and here I am telling you NOT to run?  No, not exactly.  Your should run, always!  Except for some key situations in which it's advisable to take a break from running. 

1.  Illness:  This doesn't mean that if you wake up one morning with the sniffles, that you should cancel running for the next week.  My rule of thumb is that if I can't breathe, I can't run.  However, I've found that running actually helped a bit with colds that caused chest congestion.  If you have a fever though, I advise staying home.  Why?  A fever means your body is hard at work fighting something and if you went running whilst enduring a fever, you're only asking for trouble.  You risk becoming overheated and suffering the ill effects from that.  Vomiting and diarrhea would also be reasons to take a few days to get over that bug.  Listen to your body.  I don't think all illnesses determine that you should stay home and quarantine yourself, but some might.  Just be smart about it.

2.  Weather:  I've run in wind, rain, and cold weather and been absolutely fine.  BUT, when it comes to hot, hot weather, you might want to take to the treadmill inside vs going outside to run.  If there is a actual heatwave advisory for your area, don't mess with it.  You might be able to avoid the heat by running early in the morning or early evening.  Running during too hot weather will dehydrate you much faster than you normally would and could cause heatstroke.  You don't want to collapse from heatstroke while you're running some country road where a car passes maybe once every hour.

3.  Injury:  So you sprained your pinkie finger yesterday, should you run?  Yes, you wuss!  Obviously the only injuries that should keep your from running should be injuries that actually affect your running ability (i.e legs, feet).  Some injuries, like Runner's Knee, don't require that you completely cease running, just that you take it easy and have shorter, lighter runs.  Other injuries like sprains will require that you be off your feet for a while.  Most running injuries are called Overuse Injuries and in my experience, I just take a day or two of rest and then I can get back out there. 

4.  Sleep Deprivation:  This has been the bane of my existence ever since I said, "Yes" to having kids.  Recently, it's been magnified with the twins to the point where I've actually cancelled running because I didn't think it wise to go running on the same road as cars when I'd only had maybe 3 hours of rest.  Here is my test to see if you're too sleep deprived to run:  If walking straight proves to be a challenge, you might want to take a day off from running until you've gotten a few more winks.

5.  Too Dark:  If you thought you'd do an evening run today, but time got away from you and now it's pitch dark, don't be an idiot and go out running.  Well, you can I guess, if you cover yourself with reflectors or something, but most of us don't even know where to get reflectors.  While living in Rexburg, a college town, I've nearly run down several college runners at night just because I didn't see them until my bumper was literally 2 feet from their shins.  It's stupid to run at night. Period.

For the ladies, notice I didn't site the monthly visitor as a reason not to run.  I didn't list it because that witch affects us all differently.  Some barely notice she's here and some swear that next time she visits they are going to chase her off with a shotgun. 

So that is my list.  It's pretty short, mainly because no one needs extra excuses not to run.  Stay motivated and still stick with it even with life gives us reasons not too.  But be smart and listen to your body and treat it well.  Do that, and you'll always be happy and safe as a runner. 

Comment time:  What kind of weird circumstances have kept you from running?  Or what does your list of reasons not to run look like?

1 comment:

Jana said...

Allergies= AWFUL! I've never had an allergy attack like I have this year..not only is it incredibly annoying and uncomfortable...I'm left super drained/fatigued! It's a huge bummer, but I want to get back out there fast!