5 Typical Running Excuses Busted
A guest post by Dan Chabert
Running, particularly long-distance running, may be one of the most difficult hobbies out there. The love-hate relationship is very real, and even if you’re absolutely in love, it can still be hard to get started. Once you get going though, and once you’ve finished, it’s one of the most rewarding activities out there. You get a rush of serotonin, you learn that you love the feeling of sore muscles, and you sleep better than you’ve ever slept before. Still, the excuses go wild ping-ponging inside your brain as you try to convince yourself, I don’t have to run today! I’ll run tomorrow! I’ll even double my miles! Don’t give in, my friend. I’m here to help. Here are 5 running excuses busted. You’re not getting out of it this time!
- Boo-hoo! The weather’s bad today!
No, it’s not. To beat the heat, the answer’s simple: run early in the morning or late at night, when it’s not so unbearable. There are also a handful of safe tactics for you to adopt so that you can get through the heat without passing out or straight-up melting:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
- Wear breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics, like mesh.
- Use sunscreen.
- Reward yourself with an amazingly refreshing cold shower afterwards.
- Stop when signs of heat stroke happen: you stop sweating, you feel like passing out, you vomit, your head aches.
And for running in the cold,
- Layer up with insulated fabrics. If it’s really freezing, wear a face mask and gloves.
- Start your run against the wind, end your run with the wind.
- Stop when signs of hypothermia occur: uncontrollable shaking, loss of coordination, numbness.
For hot and cold days alike, bring a running buddy along to make sure you’re both safe.
- But I swear, I always cramp up when I run.
I’ll just be frank: if you’re doing it right, you’re not going to cramp up. Often, cramping up, especially in your side, occurs when you’ve eaten thirty minutes or less before running. Don’t do that! It also occurs when you’re out of shape, and the only way to stop being out of shape is getting into shape. You may have cramps for a little while, but all you have to do is walk them off, make sure to stretch before your run, and continue to get in shape. Soon, they’ll be a thing of the past.
- I just don’t have time.
This is my least favorite excuse because my friends love it. And they’re out of shape and unhappy because of it. No one is so busy with work, eating, sleeping, and Netflix that they can’t find 20 to 30 minutes at the very least to devote to running. Block out a specific time on your calendar for running, even if it means waking up earlier than you’re used to. You won’t regret the energy and mood boost you get afterwards.
- I’m worried I’ll get injured. I’m weak!
While this can be a very legitimate concern, often it’s also just an excuse. The thing with weakness is that it’s a vicious cycle. People don’t allow themselves to work out because they believe they’re so weak they’ll get injured. And sometimes this does happen because, they’re, well, weak. But the less they work out, the more likely they are to develop an injury when they do venture to the gym or track.
Unless your doctor has expressly said you’re not allowed to run, here’s why fear of injury is a bad excuse: exercising makes you strong. The stronger you are, the less likely you are to develop an injury. Regular weight-training is a great supplement to running to build up your strength. Other measures like the proper running shoes, form, and gait are also crucial to injury-free running. Last but not least, take a break if you feel injury coming on, and don’t forget about RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
- No matter how hard I work, I’m always exhausted afterwards.
Some people feel like they can never get on top of running. It’s just too hard. This is a really understandable excuse, but it’s still an excuse. There are numerous ways to ease into running and develop endurance. First, get some blood work done – you could be suffering from a B12 deficiency, low thyroid function, or other physical problem that’s causing excessive fatigue. If this isn’t you, try upping your running time in small increments, like one minute per week. If you’re still struggling, go for interval training. This is a type of running where you alternate between a minute of hard work (like sprinting or running) and a minute or two of rest (jogging or walking). Some runners are awesome at interval training and struggle at pure long distance because their bodies are just better at sprinting. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re out there running!
Writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Dan is an entrepreneur, husband and ultramarathon distance runner. He spends most of his time on runnerclick.com and gearweare.com. Dan has been featured on runner blogs all over the world.
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