When is it OK not to run?

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only soft people” – Bill Bowerman

This is what my Runner’s World Quote of the Day told me today. After nodding in full agreement, and feeling happy that I had the goods to back it up*, I thought about how it could translate to another part of running life:

“There is no such thing as no time to run, only different priorities” – Ellie B.

Deep, right?

This week, I am in London for work for two days, which means that on Monday/Tuesday I won’t be doing any running. Or most likely any fitness at all. I am meeting a friend for dinner on Monday, which will result in muchos Mexican food and no miles in Strava. Tuesday I am traveling back, and I can’t really do stomach crunches on the train back…. can I?

The way I see it, in these situations I have two choices:

  1. Go training after work, stick to the plan and feel happy with my choice when I’m in my hotel room alone by 9pm with a salad dinner and a flatter stomach
  2. Go and see my friend, know I won’t run again til Wednesday, and not worry that my abs aren’t at all visible under the sour cream layer they’re about to receive

I am sad that I won’t get to run in London, because it’s such a great city to run in, but I haven’t seen my friend in 6+ months.

How can you argue with this view on your Sunday morning run?

How can you argue with this view on your Sunday morning run?

But as soon as you start to feel guilty about breaking a commitment to your hobby or interest for the wrong reasons, I would definitely re-cap where your priorities are. And just for clarification:

  • Right reason for breaking a running goal =  to see an old friend in London
  • Wrong reason for breaking a running goal = because I can’t get off the couch and navigate to my trainers through all the empty ice cream tubs.
Leave me alone Ice Cream Monster!

Leave me alone Ice Cream Monster!

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t fit it in where you can – and I can already hear you all cry “but what about the morning? Surely you can go for a run before work?” And to those people I say: “Yes. Yes I could. But then I’d have to bring another bag down with me, and would need a nap at 3pm. Which doesn’t really work for my employers”.

In other news, our dance school held our inaugural competition on Sunday night! I will update about this later on when I can get my greedy little hands on all the photos we took.

Ellie B 

*I kept my running up earlier on this year when the UK was attached by a giant snow cloud for three weeks. I know it’s normal to have snow elsewhere in the world, but we were underprepared here. The footpaths were covered in snow which turned to ice, cars were stranded trying to get up hills, and the country nearly ran out of salt. It was a troubling time. In the midst of all this, I was out running, feeling like a champion/martyr/smug idiot.


This is NOT me. But I am just as tough, believe me.

This is NOT me. But I am just as tough, believe me.


One thought on “When is it OK not to run?

  1. Well written Ellie! That is a great way to assess whether to skip a workout or not. An old friend should always be a priority! And you won’t lose anything by missing a few days. :)

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