I cannot believe I am writing out the reasons it’s okay not to race because I once was an avid racer running over 30 races a year. And in my life I have run hundreds of races ranging from the mile to the marathon. But I am in a different place in my life with three children, too actively involved in activities and there are only so many hours in the day. I would be lying if I said I did not want to race, but my priorities are different in life right now. If you are a runner, why are you not racing? Here are the reasons it’s okay not to race:
1. Love Low Key
If you enjoy running your routine miles and have no desire to race that is okay. I have met many runners that have told me they just like to run not race. I never understood how it was possible that anyone could not race but now I feel at times just like them. As long as I am fit and feel great, I do not feel like I have to race. I am enjoying running low key, at least right now. This is one of the reasons it’s okay not to race.
2. Health Issues
I had a good friend that became sick at races when she overheated. She is a tremendous runner but racing does not fit into her health bill, at least not at this time. So forget the formal race, have a fun race with your friends and family and if you feel like you are overheating, stop and walk. Just be smart and listen to your body.
3. Lack of Time
Are you working on the weekends or have other obligations? Well then you may not have the time to race right now. If you enjoy racing, wait for summer races when you can find the occasional weekday evening race. You are not giving up - you are just postponing your racing pursuits!
4. Not Feeling Race Ready
Are you just not that into racing right now? If yes, that is okay. We all go through different phases in our lives. Maybe you are busy with school, work or your family. Accept this phase in your life and be aware that time may pass and you may get the racing bug again!
5. Other Priorities
If you have other priorities in life right now that is okay too. As long as your priorities are healthy ones, do not fret. Just make sure you do find time for fitness even if it is not racing. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to exercise.
6. Not Properly Trained
Maybe you signed up for a half marathon a year ago when your schedule was different and now you are having trouble finding time to train. It is okay to make a decision to not run a race you are not trained for. In fact that is the smart choice to make. Although if you can squeeze in the training you can just have a more relaxed goal, like just completing the race with a smile!
7. Need Some Shut Eye
If you are up at 4am six days a week and Sunday is your only day to sleep in, it would be smart to keep it this way and not over schedule yourself. I promise I will not call you a wimp if you state that you need to sleep in. Rest is an integral part of training and an important part of recovery so listen to your body.
Now that you read all my reasons it’s okay not to race be aware if you have the time and are into it, racing is a lot of fun and a great way to keep you motivated towards your goals. But remember to do what works best with your life and your current schedule. Are you a racer? I am avidly training for the NYC marathon and a few other mini races! Hope to see you out there!