Is it ever ok to DNS your race? Of course, it is! Races are a goal for which we train hard, but at the end of the day, life happens. When it does, sometimes we need to listen.
If you are ill the morning of or leading up to your race, especially in the current climate, consider not toeing that start line. Being sick means you are compromised and won’t perform your best. It also opens you up to more serious things. It’s easier to fall prey to things like dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and similar ailments when you’re already under the weather. If you’re contagious, you don’t want to spread your germs to others, either. Sit this one out, drink fluids, and feel better.
This should go without saying, but injury is one of the best reasons to DNS your race. When you’re injured, it’s time to rest, not exert more effort. Doing otherwise can exacerbate said injury and lead to potential worse problems down the line. No start line is worth the cost of your future health. Put your feet up, tend to your injury, and recover to come back stronger than ever!
While I don’t like to bail on things due to stress, the fact is that if you are weighed down by other things, your performance will suffer. When you struggle with stress, it’s ok to be gentle with yourself. If not starting your planned race will give you some peace of mind, then give yourself permission to walk away. Get that start line another day.
You Got A Better Offer
Runners usually plan their race schedules pretty far in advance, so it’s not unusual that other plans come up along the way. We pay a lot of money and train hard, but when push comes to shove, there are events that can take precedence. If you get a better offer, take it, and bask in the moment!
We go into races with the best of intentions. We really do. But sometimes, the training doesn’t go according to plan. And that’s ok, but we have to be honest with ourselves about our abilities and fitness. I have absolutely run races undertrained, but it is a terrible idea and can lead to injury and future problems. Be kind enough to yourself to walk away from a race if your body isn’t physically ready.
What other reasons do you have to DNS your race?
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