• Geoff

Battling Excuses To Stay Inside

Updated: Mar 13, 2021


Battling Excuses to Run - Van Run Club Blog

A piece of advice I find myself giving out consistently is “do whatever you need to do to get out and run”. I don’t mean toughing it out and forcing yourself to move, although that can work for some people. I mean listening to whatever excuse your body is giving you, then moderating your run so you get out rather than staying at home. In my opinion running regularly is tough; excuses always come up. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just figure out a way for you to get into the habit.


Starting regular exercise is a mental battle against excuses. They get stronger when we don’t exercise. When we can learn to deal with those reasons rather than letting them keep us at home we are building a mental muscle. Just like any muscle, the more you practice it, the stronger it gets and the less significant the reasons become.


Excuses and Ways to Moderate Your Runs:


It’s Too Cold

  • Wear layers, gloves, tights, a jacket, a toque, whatever your mind needs.

  • Wear more even if you know that you’ll overheat and have to take off clothing. Whatever gets you out the door. For me being too hot is better than being too cold.

  • Offer yourself a reward (Or bribe as I think of it) for going out. I like to use hot coffee or hot chocolate, but whatever works for you. This applies for most excuses.


It’s Too Hard

  • Run slower. When you're starting out, running isn’t easy, but when you’re training for your peak performance, it's not easy either. Effort is relative to your fitness level. So if this excuse is stopping you, slow down and make it easier.

  • You can run at a pace that seems like a fast walk. It's the motion of jogging and getting the time on your feet, that will build physical strength and by getting out there, mental strength. Listen to your breathing, find that pace that balances effort and ease.


I’ll Get Wet/Soaked

  • This happens. Have a rain jacket. It doesn’t need to be a fancy run rain jacket, anything that will get you out there. (Scared of the Rain? Read Rain Training - 9 Ways to Start Getting Out)

  • Maybe it’s wet and cold and there are other excuses as well, moderate your run pace and time to get out there.


It’s Boring

  • Listen to music, put on a podcast or a good audio book.

  • Find people to run with. Whether it's a friend or a social run group.

  • Shorten the length of your run, you burn more calories moving than not moving.


It’s Exhausting

  • Anything is exhausting when you are at the edge of your ability. This is the case for any level of runner. Wherever you are at, if it’s exhausting, back off and enjoy the run. Learn to Run By Effort.

  • Your edge varies everyday for a number of reasons: your current fitness level, weather, how much exercise you’ve done in the last week, amount of sleep/recovery, intensity of exercise the day before, mental fatigue. Be aware and be kind to yourself.

  • Slow down, listen to your body. You can run-walk if you need to.

  • Understand that if you choose to continuously push runs to the level of exhaustion you will associate running with that feeling. So you get to decide if that's something you want to do.


It’s Too Long

  • Slow down and shorten the run. Moving burns more calories than not moving


I’m Too Tired

  • Your body is telling you that it feels like it does not have the energy for the run you are envisioning. Moderate the run: slow down, shorten the distance, pick a flat route, run-walk. Whatever it takes so your body agrees to go for a run.

  • This is similar to “It’s Exhausting”, see that point for insight.


I Don’t Want to Run Alone

  • Find people to run with. Whether it's a friend or a social run group.

  • Bring your phone and call a friend. You should be able to talk on easy runs, if you can’t because your breathing is too heavy (Read - Run by Effort or Listen to Your Breathing to help), consider it’s not an easy run.


It’s Dark Out

  • If safety is part of this concern, listen to it and find a better time to run.

  • You may have to deal with other excuses because of the new time like being tired after work or lunch runs are too short or you’re too sweaty etc.

  • Otherwise, find a light, a head lamp or reflectors to let people know where you are and to see where you are going.

  • Finding a friend to run with or a social run group is great as well


It’s Not Worth It

  • My body says, the run isn’t worth it because short runs don’t burn as many calories as long runs. I like to reframe my mindset and think about how short runs burn more calories than no runs.

  • Six 30 min runs in a week is 3 hours of activity while two 60 min runs in a week is only 2 hours. Find your balance.

  • Get to the bottom of why it’s not worth it for you. Are you going to be too sweaty or not sweaty enough? Slow the run down or do pickups in the run to burn a few more calories. What is it for you and how can you adjust the exercise?


This blog is about getting out there when it's hard to leave your house. When running is regular and your mental strength to deal with excuses is stronger, you won’t have to use these tactics. When you are there, you can choose to have hard runs, exhausting runs, runs when you’re tired or it’s dark out. But to get there, learn to strengthen that mental muscle by moderating your exercise rather than staying home. As you use this tool you will begin to realize that adjusting the intensity of your runs is an amazing way to ensure that you love running.


Again you can tough it out. But in the long term, I believe that learning to listen to your body and moderate your runs will help you enjoy running rather than feeling like you're dragging yourself through the mud. Love is a more powerful driver than overcoming fear or hate.


Which of these excuses is the strongest for you? Did I miss an excuse? What is it and have you found a good way to moderate it?


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