Your Questions Answered: Runner Not Running Edition

It’s that time of year again. Runners all over the world have nailed their fall races after training hard for the last six months. Woohoo! Time to start training for the next race…

…except maybe you can’t. Maybe your coach says you need to take a month off. Or maybe it’s your body piping up with all kinds of aches and pains that mean your life is one giant rest day right now. GAH! Not only do you not know what to do with all your spare time and energy; without running, you don’t even know how to Life. What are these non-stretchy leg-shaped items you’re expected to wear? What happened to all the laundry? WHITHER THE SHOWER?

We feel you. Here are the most common questions faced by runners on a break, and our best suggestions for how to deal.

Q: Now that I’m not running, how do I know when to shower?

A: Don’t worry, this is literally the most normal question in the world and every runner has asked it at some point. Between desperately toweling off with giant wipes three minutes before your post-lunch meeting, and taking your actual shower at 9 p.m. after your second workout of the day at the gym, you’ve never had to think about this. Now that you don’t constantly need to wash off sweat, what to do?

Luckily, you have several options regarding the timing of your showers. Many people actually only shower once a day, often in the morning, before work. Yes, really! Try different times of day, and see what works for you.

Q: Now that I’m not in running clothes all the time, I’m really struggling with what to wear to grocery shop/daycare pickup/mall/life?

A: Your concern is perfectly normal. After all, you’re almost always in running clothes: clean ones if you just can’t be bothered with anything else, or sweaty ones if you just have to run those super-few (or 15) errands before you shower and dress like an adult. Even your work clothes are running clothes in disguise. Oh yes, we know those are really compression recovery tights under that skirt. Don’t even pretend they’re not.

In fact, there are many non-spandex clothing items made especially for the purposes of leaving the house and doing things. Look into jeans — though to be honest, we recommend dresses for almost all occasions because they take the least amount of effort while making you look like you give a shit. Winning!

Q: My laundry pile is worryingly small. In fact, I’ve only done one load this week. Should I be concerned?

A: This is fine and due 100% to the fact that you no longer sweat through one or two outfits per day. By the way, on a related note, that strange, flat area of your bedroom over there you’ve never seen before? Is known as “the floor.” It’s a common phenomenon in most houses and apartments, and it won’t hurt you. In time, you may even come to enjoy knowing it exists.

Q: This is so embarrassing, but…now that I’m not running, when and how do I poop?


Are you currently taking a break from running? How are you coping?

I'm a 43-year-old living in Berlin, Germany and currently training for the 2020 Berlin Marathon.

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