The “You Only Regret a Workout You Don’t Do” Mentality is Stupid

The "You Only Regret a Workout You Don't Do" Mentality is Stupid

Today I planned to recap a race I was going to do.

But I didn’t run it.

I was signed up.

And didn’t do it.

I was there cheering for people.

And didn’t do it.

I DNSed. “Did Not Showed”

And you know what? It was a great option.

The "You Only Regret a Workout You Don't Do" Mentality is Stupid

One of the most common workout motivations you see online is “you’ll never regret a workout, but you’ll always regret the one you skipped.”

Please no.

Nearly two years ago, I toed the line of the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Mile Race. I love that race, and I am still the course record holder. I didn’t feel right, but mentally I felt pressure to do it. My achilles and peroneal tendon had started bothering me a few weeks prior (from racing in the Next%).

My entire ankle didn’t feel right, but still, I lined up to race. I thought it would be “fine.” I was not, and I fractured my calcaneus in the last strides of the race. For me, the start of the pandemic was a broken foot because I raced when I shouldn’t have.

Do I regret running and racing that day? Yes.

Do I wish I hadn’t? Yes.

So yes, I regret a workout I did. I wish I rested.

But that isn’t the first time I’ve regretted a workout, and it probably won’t be the last.

This leads me to over the weekend. For the last few days, my peroneal tendon has been bothering me. It was slightly swollen, and running didn’t feel good. I ran once on it, and it was unpleasant. So I decided to stop and wait until it’s healed.

I decided to skip a workout. I was still cheering for my spouse and friends at the race, but I skipped running altogether. I don’t regret skipping the race or working out at all.

There are plenty of reasons to skip a workout. You shouldn’t ever regret it. 

  • You’re tired. Your body can function without a run. Your body can’t function without sleep. I have a hard rule if I haven’t gotten at least 6 hours of sleep or I “feel” tired, I don’t run.
  • You’re injured. Running while injured is stupid.
  • You’re sick. It can further derail getting back to health.
  • Priorities. A post for another day, but not everyone has endless time to work outThe "You Only Regret a Workout You Don't Do" Mentality is Stupid. Sometimes other priorities need and should come before running.

Anyway, my point is this. Many harmless motivation articles or pieces or quite the opposite. There are plenty of reasons to skip a workout or run, and there is no need to regret it. So don’t. Move on to the next piece of your day.

I’m happy with my decision to rest my ankle and not push it into a more serious injury.

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Questions for you:

When have you skipped a workout?

What is another workout motivation thing you dislike?

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  1. Completely agree. I’ve skipped quite a few races that I’ve already paid for due to extreme heat, injury, and other more pressing obligations. The money had already been spent, so it was a sunk cost. I was happy that I didn’t run every time. BTW, I like your 6 hours of sleep rule. Wish I’d followed that rule in the past!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Pete! I don’t think I’ve ever had a “good run” on less than 6 hours of sleep. It’s easy to think you need to do something because you paid for it, but like you I never regret not racing.

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