QT: Don’t Run When You Don’t Want to Run

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On occasion, every runner I know has a day or few where they don’t want to run.

Sometimes, for any number of reasons, we just don’t want to run.

That doesn’t make you less of a runner in any way, shape, or form.

It just means that you are human.

What to Do When You Don’t Want to Run?

When you have one of those days (or weeks?) when you don’t want to run, what do you do? How do you respond?

Do It

Some would say that you should go run regardless.

The logic is that doing so will build some sort of mental strength or fortitude that will help you in the future.

I’m not sure I buy that logic in every instance.

A Recent Case of the Mehs

I was in a bit of a running funk recently.

I’m not entirely sure what was going on, but I was just really struggling to get out the door pretty much every day.

For awhile? Once I got going, maybe a mile or two into the run, I was good.

By the time I finished and made it home, I was glad I eventually forced myself to get going.

Then it happened.

I forced myself out the door, figuring that once I got going I’d settle in as per usual.

But that wasn’t to be the case.

My attitude and my desire to keep running weren’t getting better as I ran.

In fact, both were going in the opposite direction.

So I made the call, about halfway through my run, to head home.

To give myself a bit of grace on a day when I truly didn’t want to run.

A Funny Thing Happened

All said, I think I ended up with 4.5 miles instead of my typical 6 on that particular day.

So yeah, I still ran a pretty good chunk of miles.

But by giving myself permission to “give up” the last mile and a half or so of my planned route, something clicked for me mentally.

The next morning? I was actually looking forward to my run.

And the stats from the next day’s run?

They weren’t mind-blowing by any stretch, but it was the best run I’d had in a while.

I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a coincidence.

Don’t Be Afraid to Pull the Plug

In truth, it’s often a fine line between a bit of a lack of motivation and a definite wanting to not run.

And I don’t about you, but if I didn’t run every time my motivation level wasn’t at 100% I wouldn’t run more than a few times a month.

But if it’s clear that you simply don’t want to run, my advice to you is to not run.

With a little luck, you’ll find that the one day off or the one run cut short makes a massive difference in how you feel ahead of your next run.

Just like it did for me.


All of us have days were we don't want to go for our run. My advice on those days? Don't run. #runchat Share on X

How Do You Act When You Have Zero Desire to Go For a Run?

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