Top Excuses to Not Run and How to Beat Them

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There are plenty of times while we're running or racing that we start feeling down, discouraged, and lacking in confidence. So how do you turn it around and get yourself feeling confident.   Read more...

Top Excuses to Not Run - And How to Beat Them

Article by Christine Luff

While we'd love to experience non-stop runner's highs during our runs, it doesn't always work out that way. There are plenty of times while we're running or racing that we start feeling down, discouraged, and lacking in confidence. So how do you turn it around and get yourself feeling confident and motivated to keep running? Here are some tricks for banishing the negative thoughts:

1. Picture yourself as an elite runner

Think about an accomplished runner that you admire and try to imagine yourself running as him or her. Think about how fluid and flawless his or her form is, and picture yourself doing the same thing.

2. Play the "this could be worse" game

When I'm feeling negative during a run, I try to make sure I'm not taking running for granted. I think about how I could not be able to run because I'm injured. Or, I think about how I could be stuck in a work meeting, or doing an undesirable house chore like cleaning the bathroom. Before I know it, I'm feeling more optimistic and grateful, and the time starts passing much more quickly.

3. Run with optimists

If one of your running buddies complains frequently during runs, it can be very contagious and turn your runs into a negative experience. It may be time to start looking for a new running group or some new running partners. You're probably even better off running alone than with someone who's going to bring your down.

4. Use a mantra

If you let negative thoughts, such as "I feel tired" or "I'm never going to finish this race", creep in, they'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Keep saying a positive phrase such as, "I feel good" or "I'm feeling better". You'll eventually start to believe it.

5. Think about your fantastic runs

If you're having a bad run, think back to one of those perfect runs you've had in the past when running felt so easy, smooth, and effortless.

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Top Excuses to Not Run - And How to Beat Them

Sometimes we have the best intentions to run, but something gets in the way. Often it's our busy schedules or the weather that's the culprit; while other times it's just that we can't muster the motivation to get out there. Here are some of the most popular excuses for not running -- and how to make sure you don't fall victim to them.

1. "I Don't Have Time to Run."

Lack of time is one of the most popular excuses for skipping runs. But squeezing in your workouts may not be as impossible as you think. Instead of watching TV for 30 minutes, put on your running shoes and get moving. Or, divide your run up between the morning and evening -- your body still gets mostly the same benefits.

2. "I'm Too Tired to Run"

When you're feeling sluggish, it's hard to get motivated to get up off the couch and out the door. But going for a run will energize you and make you feel better. You may be tired because you have low blood sugar, so eat a snack or light meal at least an hour before running. If you find yourself feeling really tired as you start your run, start off by walking and then pick it up slowly. Extreme tiredness with a normal sleep schedule may be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, such as low iron, so talk to your doctor if you find yourself frequently feeling tired.

3. "I Get Bored Easily."

It's easy to get stuck in a running rut. We get comfortable running the same routes or it's easier to just jump on the treadmill. Shake up your running routine by mapping out some new routes using tools such as MapMyRun. Or, sign up for some local races -- it will force you to run someplace different and it'll help get you motivated.

4. "I'm Just Not Motivated to Run."

All runners go through some periods when they're lacking motivation. One smart way to get inspired to keep running is to find a running group. When you know other people are counting on you to be at a workout, you're more likely to show up. And the social interaction and competition that comes with group training also help boost your motivation.

5. "It's Too Cold (or Hot) Outside."

I always tell runners, "There's no such thing as bad weather -- just bad clothes." In other words, if you're dressed properly and prepared to deal with less-than-ideal running weather, you can still go for a run -- and actually enjoy it. Get tips and precautions to take for running in the cold, heat, and rain.

How to Winter-Proof Your Workouts

6. "I'm Busy With My Kids."

As a mother, I know how tough it can be to fit in a run when you're busy caring for your family. But it's important for you -- and your kids -- that you get a chance to do something you enjoy that makes you feel good. Try to make running more a priority in your life and be a little selfish. Schedule your runs and get your spouse on board so you get help with some of the child-care responsibilities. And get creative and take advantage of opportunities to run. For example, if you're watching your kid's soccer game, run some laps around the field before or even during the game.

7. "I'm Too Self-Conscious to Run in Public"

Feeling embarrassed about running in public is a common reason why people don't get started or continue with running. Try not to worry about what others think! You should be proud of yourself for getting out there and doing something so healthy.  Runners actually love seeing others out on the roads or trails. Also, remember that everyone started as a new runner at some point, so they can relate to the struggles that beginners face. And any non-runner who criticizes someone for a healthy habit like running is probably just jealous or feels bad that they aren't running. Wearing the right clothes for running may make you feel more confident and comfortable when running in public. You can also try running with a buddy -- that may help you feel less self-conscious.