How To Overcome The 9 Most Common Running Excuses
Don’t let any excuse stop you from running!
We’ve all had them – those days where nothing feels right, and is just feels easier not to go for a run. But the fact is, you always feel better after a run. So why is it so immensely difficult to get up and out the door on “one of those days”? We’ve compiled the 9 most common excuses for skipping a run – and identified the best way to tackle them. Let us know if we missed any of your most challenging procrastination techniques?
1 It’s too late in the day now
The day got away from you (or maybe you procrastinated over going for that run!) and now it seems a bit too late, really.
What to do about it: is it really too late? How long do you need to run for? There’s nothing wrong with running at night in the dark. Reverse engineer the situation from bedtime. If you go now – like, in 5 minutes – would you have time to shower, have a light snack, and get to bed? It’s rarely too late – unless it’s actually bedtime!
2 It’s too hot/cold/windy outside
Ugh, look at the weather. It’s really windy. Or cold. Or too hot. That’s a good enough reason to put this run off until tomorrow.
What to do about it: if you have an important run in the diary, check the weather report the day before so you can choose the best time of day. Failing that, just go. It’s rarely the perfect weather for running. If you have suitable kit (wet weather gear, layers, breathable kit….) then you’ll be fine. You can dry off/cool down/warm up when you get home.
3 I’ve eaten too much – I’ll be uncomfortable
Running with a full stomach isn’t fun for anyone – but is that just an excuse?
What to do about it: plan your meals and snacks. Overeating can be a real procrastination technique – and we often don’t realise we’re doing it. If we subconsciously don’t want to go for a run, we can actually overeat, knowing that it means we “can’t run”. So the solution is to plan what you eat before running. Eat just enough, but not too much.
4 I haven’t eaten anything – I won’t have the energy
It’s quite possible to run without eating anything, but most people like to have a little something beforehand.
What to do about it: make sure you’ve eaten enough, with sufficient time between eating and running. Don’t let this be another excuse. If you’re too busy to eat, have a light snack on hand that you know works well for you as running fuel. Fruit, or a couple of bits of toast, with a small coffee (and water) should do the trick.
5 I’ll do it tomorrow
There’s always tomorrow, isn’t there. But what if tomorrow is even busier (or more tiring, or has worse weather…) than today?
What to do about it: just do it. Seriously. Yes, there is always tomorrow (we hope!) but that’s no reason to not run today. Do today’s run as planned, then you’ll have tomorrow to do tomorrow’s plans.
6 The kit I need is in the wash
That’s annoying, but are you honestly saying that every bit of potential running clothing is in the laundry pile or wet on the line right now?
What to do about it: all you actually need is running shoes and a sports bra. You could do a short run in a t-shirt and any shorts or leggings. It’s not ideal, but it’s possible. So – there are two lessons here. Have more than one sports bra. And keep an eye on how much running kit is in the laundry basket.
7 I’ve only got 30 minutes, that’s not enough for anything
Life is busy, and sometimes you really do only have half an hour. Surely that’s not long enough to do anything of any use?
What to do about it: get out there! A 20-minute run is perfectly adequate. Even if you’re an elite-level runner, or training for a marathon, 20 minutes is useful. You could use 20 minutes for speed work, hill reps, mile repeats, or a faster-than-usual run. Get going and get on with it.
8 I feel so tired
We understand. Life is tiring. But face it, if you only ran when you didn’t feel tired – would you ever run?
What to do about it: be honest with yourself, are you tired, or “fall asleep standing up” exhausted? The latter isn’t conducive to a good training run, and you’re likely to end up so shattered that you need even more recovery time. But if you’re just everyday-life kind of tired, then get out for a run. It’s good for your health, may help you sleep better, and it’s doing something for yourself.
9 It doesn’t matter if I skip just one run
What does it matter if you skip this run? Does it really make any difference?
What to do about it: this one is up to you. How serious are you about your running goal? Why does running today matter to you? No, it doesn’t really matter if you skip a run – nobody is making you run, and it’s not your job. But it is something you love, and you committed to this run. And you know it’s good for your health, your fitness, your mental well being. So – skip it if you want to. But skipping one day can lead to another…and another. It’s far more rewarding to stick to your goals and have the satisfaction of seeing it through.