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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:)
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- Laying out my clothes the night before if I am planning a morning run.
- Packing my gym bag if I plan to go during lunch or after work.
- Reviewing my workout the night before and picture myself kicking ass doing it.
- 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:)