My Excuses to Skip a Workout and How I Defeat them

We all have excuses for things, for why we didn’t do homework in school, for why we can’t hang out on a Friday night, for why we can’t go to the gym, for why we showed up late to work. It’s reality and just like with all of these examples, I have a ton of excuses I use for why I can’t run. However, over my years of running I have found ways to overcome them, mental tricks, let’s call them. Really I just ask myself if I want that PR and if I am willing to work for it, that gets me tying my shoes! 

Let’s start with my excuses. 

  1. I am too busy. This one we and I need to stop making, staying healthy and exercising should be a priority in our lives! Do you make time for your tv shows? I sure do! Well why not watch those shows on the treadmill at the gym or listen to those podcasts while you run. 
  2. It’s too dark out. I always used to use this and then my friends and boyfriend decked me out in reflective gear and lights so that excuse went out the door and I had to search for more. 
  3. It’s raining out. I hate the rain and running in it. If it starts raining mid run I am okay but I can’t get out the door when it is currently raining out. However you can take it to the treadmill or wear a hat and rain coat, sometime it can be fun and we just have to convince ourselves to try it. 
  4. I have no clean socks. Wear dirty socks, come on that will fix it. Or better yet do your laundry! I am terrible at this, even ask my parents whenever I come home I come bearing all my laundry… sorry Mom and dad!
  5. The workout is too hard/ I won’t hit the paces. This is a mental problem, we need to believe we can or we head into the workout already expecting to fail. Even if the paces seem impossible to me, I go in and tell myself to try to hit one mile at that pace and go from there, or hit some fraction of the workout at that pace. Usually I hit it or get close and my confidence skyrockets. 
  6. My stomach hurts. This is hard because I have a test my stomach but usually I always convince myself to try a mile and see. If it’s really hurting I go to the gym and try so I don’t get stranded outdoors with severe stomach pain somewhere… it’s probably happened to me. 
  7. I am too hungry. Eat a quick snack pre workout to keep you going! What I do is I think about the meal I am going to have and say I can only have it after my workout, that really gets me to put my workout clothes on and head out. I run for food:)
  8. I am too tired. I find that working out gives me energy even if I go into it feeling tired. For example I run quite frequently in the morning right after waking up. In the beginning I am always sluggish but by the end I am awake and ready to go and feeling awesome. 
  9. I don’t want to go alone. Find a friend or a dog to accompany you. Join a weekly running group! There are so many options but if all those fail I listen to podcasts like I’ll have Another with Lindsey Hein or The Ali on the Run Show and then I feel like I am running with friends! 
  10. Long runs are boring. Find ways to mix it up. Grab a running buddy, grab a dog to run with! Listen to a podcast or a book on tape or make a new playlist. Come up with a new running route or a new workout so that it isn’t all the same pace. 
  11. I should play with my dog instead. Bring your dog on the run or maybe a cool down walk, they will love you more for that! I always have guilt about leaving my pup behind but pretty soon I can start upping her mileage.
  12. I should catch up on work. There is always more to do, I have learned that, but ask yourself can it wait? Can it be done after my run or tomorrow morning? If yes, head out the door! 
  13. I have no motivation. This probably requires you to mix it up. You can even take a break from running and try a new activity. Or you can try a new route, grab a buddy and try that fun new run idea you saw on someone’s instagram! 
  14. I am stressed. This shouldn’t be an excuse but I use it, even though I know running ALWAYS makes me feel better and relaxed! 

First, I want you to know at least once in my life I have used all of these to skip a workout. Hey probably once a day I still say one but normally I get out the door anyway. Overall what keeps me the most consistent is having a target race I am training for with some sort of goal because that holds me accountable. Different things work for different people, some need a workout group or buddy and that keeps them going. Find what works for you! 

I can use about four of these excuses in one day! Sometimes I wake up and say it’s too dark, I won’t hit those paces in the dark and I am too tired, I will run at lunch. Then I end up working through lunch because I am too busy. Then I get home and am too hungry, but ultimately I ask myself how bad do I want it. How bad do I want to BQ or PR?  That gets me out the door! 

A couple other things that help me. 

  1. Laying out my clothes the night before if I am planning a morning run.
  2. Packing my gym bag if I plan to go during lunch or after work. 
  3. Reviewing my workout the night before and picture myself kicking ass doing it.
  4. Set five million alarms minutes apart to ensure I get my a$$ out of bed in the morning! 

Now I have to go do all of those for tomorrow:) 


3 thoughts on “My Excuses to Skip a Workout and How I Defeat them

  1. I think it’s also important to note that it’s okay to miss a workout here and there. Understanding why you are skipping the workout and being okay with your decision.


  2. I’ve also used every one of these excuses but eventually, I realized that the real reasons not to run never made me regret passing up the run. So I ask myself, if I don’t run, will I regret it tonight? If I’m really too sick or too busy, then I won’t regret it but if I will…I lace up my shoes.
    Also, I love your dog’s expression! So unimpressed.


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