A common question is ways to keep running when you want to stop. Let’s be honest here; running is not always exciting or interesting. In fact, sometimes running is straight-up boring.
Not every run is going to feel great. Some days it’s a constant mental battle of one foot in front of the other.
So what are some ways to keep running when you want to stop?
First, ask yourself why:
If you want to stop because you’re mentally not feeling it, feeling an injury, or it’s something serious, then, by all means, stop. You shouldn’t push through something that will set you back weeks, months, or even years.
If you want to stop because you’re bored or just not feeling it, continue going and using these tips.
Focus on One Mile at a Time:
Instead of thinking, I have X miles to go, think about the mile you’re in. Running seems less overwhelming that way.
Take in the Sights:
One way I sometimes keep myself focused is to enjoy a good view. Enjoy the sights around me, even if it’s admiring homes, gardens, or cars! Distracting yourself can be a great way to ways to keep running when you want to stop. Plus, you might see parts of your area you never knew existed.
Use a Mantra:
Remember this: if you say, I won’t finish a run or race, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you won’t. Like anything, you’ll begin to believe it. Instead of having a negative mindset, try and change to a more positive one. Tell yourself: I’m going to keep running. Find a mantra you truly like or that works for you.
Entertain Yourself with Music or Podcasts:
On easy days, I enjoy running with music and podcasts. Sometimes I catch up on the news or current events. Other days I listen to a running podcast. Sometimes I want mindless music. I wrote about podcasts I’m enjoying here.
Track Your Progress:
As a runner, you don’t always see the small positive gains. Maybe you are slightly faster than last week. It can be hard to see that! While I don’t love Strava or running social media apps (I think people get too obsessed and overcomplicate running), tracking your progress online can be an easy way to see your gains. Seeing gains can help motivate you to as a way to keep running when you want to stop.
If you don’t love an online platform, think of an old-school pen and paper journal method. There is something about a personal training log.
Focus on Your Form:
Other times to distract myself, I focus on my form. I know for myself, I start to get lazy towards the end of runs and races. By focusing on form, you can help improve your running, and it’s also a way to keep running when you want to stop.
How to Focus on Form:
Evaluate each part of your body. Start with the top and work down.
Is your head looking straight and not at your feet?
Are your shoulders and back relaxed and not hunched over?
How about your arms? Are your arms, wrists, and hands relaxed?
Finally, if you weren’t running, ask yourself what you would REALLY be doing?
Really. For me, I know I would probably be sitting on the computer scrolling through social media. I wouldn’t *actually* be doing anything productive. That alone is enough a way to keep running when you want to stop.
Running is not always fun or glamorous! These ways to keep running when you want to stop are easy to implement into your own training. At the end of the day, remember running is supposed to be fun. If you constantly feel like you’re forcing it, it might be time for a break, so you don’t lead to burnout!
Question for you: What are some ways you use to keep running when you want to stop?