Sometimes No Days Off means a Day Off

If you’re into preppy New England style athletic wear, then you already know about Tracksmith’s new line No Days Off and its advertising campaign. The message behind No Days Off created a discussion in my running club. I won’t rehash our discussion, but Tracksmith tries to thread the needle of the hardcore must train no matter what, no excuses and the actual reality that people really do need a day off once in a while.

Last week, after Tuesday’s run, I felt a bit off. I thought it was because I was hungry because I ran later than usual so lunch was later than usual. I figured I’d feel better after I ate. A couple hours later, I was slumped on the couch, whimpering from stomach pains. I texted Ben that I wasn’t feeling well. He texted back that I should rest and not to worry about dinner (earlier that morning I told him that I was planning on making dinner for us). When he came home, the stomach pains were replaced by a horrible back pain and a pounding headache. I took an Advil and went to bed early.

I woke up in the morning, feel better, but not great. The headache was gone. My body only mildly ached. All morning I debated whether I should go run or not. It’s now the waning weeks of marathon training. I want to make sure that I arrive on the starting line as fit as I could be and knowing that I did everything I could do to get there ready to rumble.

At noon, I knew I could go out and run. Most of the pain in my body had subsided. If I ran gently, I knew I could complete the easy 8 miles that was in the training plan. Instead, I texted Leah that I was skipping the run in favor of sleeping more.

I knew I could run, but I chose not to. Why? Because my priority is to get to the start line of the Phoenix Marathon on Feb 9th fully healthy. I asked myself, if I would rather get one more training run in, but arrive slightly sick or miss a run and arrive fully healthy. No contest – the latter all the way.

Missing one training run is not going to make a difference in marathon training. I’ve been consistent and putting in the miles beforehand. I can afford to miss one run. I can’t afford to get to the start line being slightly ill because that puts my race at risk. I knew if I ran, I would be putting stress on my body and it wouldn’t be able to fight off whatever infection I picked up.

I slept all afternoon. When I woke up in the evening, I felt almost 100% like myself. I had an early dinner and went to bed early again. When I woke up in the morning, I was 100% back to normal. I nailed the mile repeats that were that day’s workout. If I had run the previous day, I knew I would have been still slightly sick and my run would have been affected. Who knows how long I would have stayed slightly sick?

I feel good and all systems are go for Phoenix.

8 thoughts on “Sometimes No Days Off means a Day Off

  1. I guess the way I interpreted the whole “No Days Off” thing was that, every single day, you’re doing the best thing for your training, whatever that is. So, not ‘no days off’ from running, but ‘no days off’ from optimizing yourself for the race. So like if skipping a run in favor of rest gives you a better chance of showing up ready to do your best, then that’s doing the work, not a ‘day off.’

    • Yeah, that was Tracksmith’s interpretation of “No Days Off.” My running club had a spirited discussion of whether the phrase No Days Off gave that impression though, especially since run streaks (not that TS was doing one) are a thing around this time of year. The hardest part for me was to give myself permission to skip a run even though I could run. I have no problems not running when I know I physically can’t, but it’s that fine line of physically I can, but is it really the best thing to do? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. It all depends on the larger context. It took me all morning to finally decide I wasn’t going to do it.

  2. Hooray! You did the right thing. It took me a long time to figure that out, but it’s true. Glad to hear you feel back on track, especially since I’m not running your marathon for you. 😉

  3. So glad you took the time to take care of yourself. It can be so hard to look at a plan and opt to take a rest when you need it. But sometimes recovery needs to be placed in days that we didn’t initially plan on. Arriving healthy is the priority. I’m sure you will be so glad you made that choice and I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better.

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