How to keep running when you want to stop

Whether you're running outdoors or on a treadmill, we've all experienced that horrible moment when all you can think about is stopping.

How to keep running when you want to stop

Here are our 10 tips to help you overcome that feeling and avoid stopping, so you can keep improving your running fitness.

Get lost

Don't think about where you are on your route or how many miles or minutes you have left. Stop looking at your watch or your app until you're at least half way. 

Plug yourself in

Research has found that listening to music can improve your running performance by up to 15%, a huge increase if you’re chasing your PB. If you're on a long run and worry about getting bored of your playlist try running the first half without music and when you feel in need of a little boost plug your headphones in and feel the benefits.

Breathe steady and even

You could be finding it difficult because you started too fast so you may need to simply slow down rather than stop. Try slowing yourself down and taking long, even breaths and you'll soon find your second (or third) wind.

Mind over matter

Take a moment to work out whether the pain you're feeling is in your head or your body. If your knee really does hurt, stop. If you feel like you're running through treacle and you couldn't possibly take another step, focus your mind and push through the struggle.

And if you do think you have a bit of a niggle that's holding you back check out our complete guide to running injuries which has loads of helpful advice and tips on how to prevent, treat, and recover from all the most common running injuries.

Keep perspective

Remember you are in training. Whether you're at 3 miles or 20 miles don't think "Oh no, how can I do this for 26.2 miles?" just remember that you still have weeks to come and no one is expecting you to run your marathon tomorrow. Take it one run at a time and trust your running training plan.

Remember why you started

Whether you're running to lose weight or training for your bazillionth marathon there is always a reason why you're running.

Take note

Let your mind wander. Count the ducks as you pass them, guess the height of the trees, count how many red cars are on the roads or run through your multiplication tables in your head. Whatever it is that stops you thinking that you're running and it hurts.  

Pump your arms

Get the arms moving. Suddenly you’ll find you're running a bit easier, you’re going a bit faster, you have a new burst of energy. Now slow it down and remember your body isn't going to give up.

Stay away from traffic lights

Avoid routes with traffic lights, that little red man is the perfect excuse to stop. Avoid the temptation and stick to parks, paths, or side roads.

Wait for it...

That runners high WILL hit. Wait for it… wait for it…

And if you're really struggling to find that feeling try thinking about your last runner's high and recreate that feeling.

Don't forget to log all your runs on The Running Bug to make great new running friends and start receiving supportive comments!

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