Excuses are a part of everyday life. They tempt us to take the easy way out. To stay in our comfort zones. And they convince us to settle for way less than we are capable of. This goes for too many things in life, but especially for training. In the beginning, excuses will pop up all over the place, and the real challenge is being stronger. Your willpower will be tested. When it comes to running, the biggest hurdle is sometimes getting out of the door when you can think of 20 reasons to stay inside instead. So here are some tips to help you recognize and beat some of the most common – and worst – excuses not to run.
It’s too early
You go to bed the night before with the best intentions to get up early for that morning run. And then the alarm goes off and you forget how motivated you were. In the battle between extra sleep and early morning training, sleep usually wins. But it doesn’t have to. Try putting your alarm somewhere away from the bed so you have to get up to switch it off. Put a glass of water by it so you drink something. Wash your face. This will all help you to feel more awake. Remember that running causes the brain to release happiness hormones, so your morning run will leave you in a better mood and more motivated for the rest of the day. Your mind and body adapt quickly, so if you stick to this a few times a week, the early mornings will soon be routine and no problem anymore.
I’m too unfit
Not an excuse. Running is the ideal way to start losing weight and transition from an unfit to a fit lifestyle. Anyone can run. You just have to make sure you don’t take on too much too soon. Don’t think you’ll run 5k the first time you get out there. The lower your fitness level, the slower you should start. If you start out with too much, you can end up injuring yourself. Interval training with its recovery breaks is a great way to start out with running and lose weight. The Running Coach will ask you some questions to learn your starting fitness level and will give you the right training for you to get used to running. So be patient and stick to it and you’ll be a true runner in no time.
It’s too cold, too hot, too wet or too windy
The weather is rarely a reason not to run. Of course it’s not so pleasant to get outside in the rain, but it won’t do any harm and once you start running, you may even enjoy it. For warm, cold, wet or snowy conditions there is always the right clothing for your training. In summer, use the weather forecast to plan your training around the hottest days and hours. Storms, thunder or hail are instances where it would be safer to stay indoors. When running at night, make sure to be safe and only run in well-lit areas.
I don’t have time
A week has 168 hours. If you sleep and work for eight hours a day each, that leaves you with 64 hours for other activities. Taking 30 minutes for your training is using only 2% of your day. Sounds like a good investment. If you plan your week in advance, getting your training into your schedule three to four times won’t be a problem, especially as some of the shorter Running workouts can be completed in about 20 minutes or less. Try doing one after work and avoid the usual traffic on the way home. If you can, try using your lunch break for a run and eat a prepped meal afterwards. Or get up a little earlier and get in some morning runs.
I get bored when I run
This can happen when you start running longer distances. Luckily, the Running workouts won’t let you get bored and are also perfect for running with friends. When you find yourself facing longer distance runs that can quickly get boring, we’ve already collected lots of tips on how to make your run more enjoyable. Bye bye excuses.
I’m too embarrassed
Too many people don’t even get started with running because they are too embarrassed to do it in public. It’s something lots of people go through. But don’t let it hold you back! Try to forget what anyone will think. All they will see is someone who got up and started working to reach a goal. And that is something to be admired. Which is why you may notice other runners smile at your or give you a nod – because they get it. They know what it takes. They won’t be judging you, because you’re part of their club. And let’s face it, most passers-by who see you will just feel guilty that they haven’t been running in a while. So be proud of yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling super confident when you’re out running. If you’re still feeling anxious about getting out there, try running somewhere with less crowds, or with a good friend. Also, wearing the right clothes for your training can make you feel better about running.
I have a family
What with getting the kids to their after-school activities, playdates and parties and finding some time to cook, clean, sleep and even relax, sport might not feel like a priority. But there are ways to compromise and get more training into your schedule. Don’t let your family be a reason why you don’t work on yourself. And don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself to train. Your health will benefit from it and so will your family. Try using that hour of soccer or piano practice to do a Running workout. Get your kids to cycle next to you when you go running. Or, when they are on their next playdate, take your partner with you on your run so that you can have some quality time while also doing something good for yourselves. A great way to de-stress and boost your good mood.
I don’t want to injure myself
Exercise equals pain? Not necessarily true. Some myths say that running is bad for your joints and heart, but actually, the opposite is true. Running is great for your health. You only run the risk if you take on too much too soon before your body is ready to take it on. Realistic goals, sensible training and proper regeneration are the key. If you have orthopedic conditions that affect your running, talk to your doctor before you start with your training. Otherwise, nothing should stand in your way to becoming a runner. Find out how to avoid common injuries and don’t forget to go slowly when you start out.
Excuses are an Athlete’s worst enemy. The key to success is having willpower stronger than your biggest excuses. It may feel like you are making sacrifices, but in reality, would you be making better use of the time spent training? Or would you spend it in bed, on the couch or doing something less healthy and productive? Remember, the small compromises and changes you make add up to the best reward. Don’t sacrifice what you want in the future for what you want right now.