Runner's Guilt

Is there truly such a thing as Runner's Guilt? The meaning appears to vary across the inter-webs, but my personal interpretation of runner's guilt is feeling as if my goals are compromised because I skipped a single workout.

Like today, for example. I decided to skip my run because I have been feeling off for the past two days. First, my 5 mile run last night did not go as well as I would have liked. I had a great attitude when I started and was feeling okay overall, but before I was even halfway through, I started getting slower and my stomach began to cramp. Rarely do I get cramping, especially on a 5 mile run, but it got pretty uncomfortable. I struggled to finish the last half. Surprisingly, I finished in under 43 minutes, which is actually a good time for me, but it was a mess of positive splits.

Today, I started feeling off around noon. I didn't feel horrible, but just weird enough to not want to run. Even though I knew it was the best decision for my body, I still feel guilty for skipping. I have improved over the last couple of months with guilt, but even still, I fear that skipping will result in lazy behavior, that I will gain weight, or miss out on important running goals. Especially since I am in marathon training mode.

I am not the only one who feels this way either. When I googled "runner's guilt when skipping workouts," there were several articles that appeared. I have listed a few of them below! I was able to relate to each and every one!

So what do you do about Runner's Guilt?

If you are concerned about loosing fitness, listen to Hansons Marathon Method:
“Training can resume normally without scaling back mileage or intensity. You lose a couple days of running; no harm done.While a number of missed workouts can spell your doom for your marathon goals, a single lost workout will never be your demise.”
Are you more concerned about waning motivation if you skip? Think about why you are really avoiding that run. Are you exhausted? If you find yourself too tired to run and you force yourself to do so anyway, your immune system will not be able to fight off a sickness that may enter your body. You will also not see any PR time on your Garmin at the end, I'm sure!

Are you already sick? Running is not the cure. It may cause your symptoms to become more severe and last for days longer.

Who knows...maybe you don't want to run because you are already unmotivated. That is okay too!
"Working out shouldn’t be a chore; you should feel motivated and inspired by it!" says Healthy Chicks. "If you’re feeling miserable and dragging yourself to exercise, it’s NOT going to be a good workout. And let me tell you: 25 minutes on the elliptical at a slow “I-don’t-want-to-be-here” pace is going to do nothing for your body or overall weight management efforts...One little missed workout is not going to make the slightest difference on your overall healthy lifestyle."

So be kind to your body. If you throw yourself on a guilt trip and force yourself to run anyway, you may be out longer than you intended, whether it is due to sickness or injury. You'll be happier that you did! There is always tomorrow, which is what I keep reminding myself!

Do you experience Runner's Guilt?

What would be a good reason for you to skip your run?

How do you avoid guilt when you skip a day?

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