Eight excuses that stop people from running – and how to get past them

Want to start running but haven’t? Here are eight of the most common excuses stopping people – and how to get past them.

Have you found yourself being inspired by others to take up running but you just haven’t entirely made that step to lace up your trainers and have a go? What is holding you back?

In 2020, more people than ever took up running due to the restrictions placed upon us in regards to exercise and the inability to continue with our usual routine. Running is one of the only recreations that has been unaffected by Covid-19. Indeed, more than 60% of gym-goers went on to take up running when the first lockdown was introduced.

Eight excuses that stop people from running – and how to get past them

So what’s stopping you? Are any of these eight excuses not to start running familiar to you? And if so, how can you get past them – and start running?

1) “I’ve not had time to run”

Unless you’ve been front line worker over the past few months, the majority of us have had more time than ever to take up something new. 

Take a look at your weekly routine and schedule three times when you can fit in 30 minutes to work on your running. Think of the times during the week that you’re doing mindless tasks that can be replaced with running. 

Maybe you’ll be better at running in the morning?  While it might seem like an impossible thought right now, you’ll be amazed at how an early morning run will set you up for the day.

Have your running clothes at the ready – you’ll be surprised how much seeing your intention set out in front of you can be a game-changer!

2) “I’m feeling too tired”

We get that!  These last few months have been hard on us both physically and mentally, and we can go through weeks where we feel drained. 

Think about what you are eating at the moment – are you fuelling your body with nutrient-rich foods, or are you reaching for the junk food? These choices will contribute to your fatigue.

Going for a run will energise you and make you feel so much better afterwards. Grab a snack for energy and run around an hour later. Take yourself out for 10-15 minutes for a walk-run-walk and see how it goes. You might surprise yourself! 

3) “I feel too self-conscious”

Lack of confidence is a common reason why people don’t take up running. You worry that people are judging you and decide that you’re too slow, too big or too old to be running. 

Well we say, that’s none of their business! What they think has more to say about them and their insecurities than it does about you.

You won’t realise this at first, but you will inspire others to take up running once they see the journey you have had and the benefits running has made to your life.

Don’t forget, other runners will love seeing you out – they are cheering you onThey were once new to this and will relate to your struggles. 

There’s a lot to be said about getting some decent running clothing to make you feel more confident and comfortable when out running. If you look like a runner, you’ll feel like a runner – because you ARE a runner.

4) “I’m too scared to run on my own”

If you feel unsafe running alone, then don’t do it. You want running to be an enjoyable experience, and feeling worried is far from that! Reach out for a running buddy or a local running group. Another option would be to find an indoor track or join a gym with treadmills.

For the days you want to run but don’t have any company, check out our tips on keeping safe when running outside.

5) “I don’t know how to run”

It may be an obvious thing ‘to run’, but many are worried about how to do it correctly. We all have different styles of running, and there are things you can do to improve your form, but for starting off, you want to get out there at a gentle pace and see how it feels. 

Proper running form will reduce your risk of injury and help you get more out of you run, and our running coaches are here to help you. 

6) “I don’t have any kit”

Running is one of the only sports that you can do without spending any money – initially anyway!  

It’s true, you’ll benefit from comfortable fitting trainers and sweat-wicking clothing, but for your initial sessions, some suitable trainers and workout clothes will be fine. As soon as you’re able, it is worth investing in a new pair of specific running trainers and a sports bra (for women). Having the correct trainers for your stride and gait will help to take care of your feet and knees.

Once you get started, you’ll want to spend money on cool kit to look the part!

7) “I have bad knees/ bad back”

Don’t write yourself off from running because of an injury. Often muscle related pain in your back can happen when your core, hips, glutes and hamstrings are weak, which then forces your back muscles to take on the work. This is why cross-training is so important.

Seek advice from your doctor if you think your pain is caused by arthritis or discogenic pain is coming from a bulging or slipped disc.

There are many things you can do to treat back pain and knee pain and get you out running.

8) “I don’t feel motivated”

Running on your own takes a whole lot of motivation and drive. One way to overcome this is to join a community. Local groups cater for all types of runners, and there are many online running communities that will offer motivation and celebration and help keep you going. 

If any of these reasons resonate with you, then why not check out our very own Facebook Community Start Running – Stay Running. You will find lots of friendly runners whose goal is to get started and stay running… just like you! 

Linda Meek is the co-founder of Start Running – Stay Running, a Facebook Group and VIP Membership for people who are taking up running but don’t have the information to hand to help them do it safely.

Photo by Arek Adeoye