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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All great reasons.
I have DNSed for some of the reasons you Have mentioned.
There’s also family issues or work commitments.
And weather. With rain ice snow it could be unsafe to race.
Races are important but not the most important thing in our lives.
And there will always be another race.
We don’t usually have the weather reason here. I think we had one race in my running time that had to be moved due to a hurricane (and more because the police presence wouldn’t be there due to dealing with the storm, than the storm itself), but that was it.
Deborah Brooks says
life just happens and sometimes the timing does not work out anymore. There are always other races to run and it’s not worth becoming upset over a missed one. This is one of the reasons why I try not to sign up too early
I go back and forth with early signup! I love the idea of getting a better price and blocking out time on the calendar, but eh. It’s ok.
Oh yes, I’ve DNS’d races- usually due to injury. The bottom line is- we’re not professional athletes. This is supposed to be fun, and if it’s not for any reason we shouldn’t feel bad about not running. The money we paid usually goes to a good cause, so it ends up being a donation!
Michelle D. says
All good reasons. I have DNS some races – yes it can be disappointing at times, but there will always be another race.
Kimberly Hatting says
I think it’s really hard for runners (especially experienced ones) to give ourselves grace. And we all have egos LOL Bottom line, we need to be honest with ourselves and our goals, and not necessarily what we think others are expecting of us. Easier said than done…
Oh, the ego! It’s the worst!
Since my injury, I’ve been much better about letting things go since I got hurt. I have a half in February in my sights. I’ll get it then.
I have actually been lucky. Never had to DNS. But I think these are great reasons. Running injured or undertrained can sometimes be a terrible idea but there are always telling you you can do it.
I think one reason I haven’t had to DNS due to stress is generally when I’m going through a stressful time I just don’t sign up for races.
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