5 things to help you cope with a DNS (Did Not Start)

There is only one thing that I fear more than a DNS (Did Not Finish) and that is a DNS (Did Not Start), yet I am realising these fears tomorrow as I am not going to be running by first big race of the year, the Meon Valley Plod run by Portsmouth Joggers.  This is a very tough 21 mile off road race.  Hilly, muddy, just up my street.  Alas I will not be there.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had a cold, but this cold just hasn’t gone away.  It has lingered on and on, runny nose persisting, cough persisting and despite eating healthy, sleeping plenty and doing all the things you are supposed to do I just haven’t shaken it.

I am also still struggling with a bit of ankle pain, following badly spraining my ankle at the Hellrunner in January. These two things combined have meant that since the Hellrunner on the 14th January I have only run 4 times (including Havant Park Run this morning).

Obviously this is not enough training for a 21 mile hilly off road race, so I have taken the sensible decision and pulled out.  I decided this mid-week last week, and am very glad I have done so.  As you can see from my heart rate data from this mornings Parkrun (in the image below), I am clearly still struggling with this virus.  Under normal circumstances my heart rate for a 28 minute 5km would be about 160bpm.  Today it was averaging at 180 and peaked at 188!  Heart is definitely having a bit of a struggle.  This just wouldn’t have worked over 21 miles.


So that leaves me with the thought, how should I react to this DNS.  Well below are my top 5 ideas.

1) Re-strategise and plan for my upcoming 13 marathon challenge.  I need to re-think how I approach Brighton Marathon in 5 weeks time, as I have done nowhere near enough training and do not want to risk injury by trying to run Brighton to fast.

2) Concentrate on the positives – Despite not making it to the start line on my first big race of the year, I am 80% recovered from my ankle injury, my cold will eventually go and I have a big year of racing ahead of me and plenty to train for and look forward to.

3) Keep my eyes on the prize – This whole year is about running 13 marathons including 2 Ultra’s, so I need to keep reminding myself of that.  There is nothing to be gained by being short-sighted,

4) Cross Train – I have a turbo trainer, a weight rack in the garage, a punch bag and plenty of space for Yoga.  I should be concentrating on this and not worrying about running.  I know I can run, I just need to be fit enough to do so.

5) Sleep – Sleep is the master healer, and I do not get enough of it.  Must try harder to get to bed early and get my 8 hours in.

So that is that.  My plan on how to come back from not starting.  Let’s see how it goes shall we.



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