Top Ten Excuses to Not Run

Even when we have the best intentions, we sometimes talk ourselves out of our workouts. Below are some of my top excuses. Do they match yours? If not – leave yours in the comments section, and I will update this post with other top excuses. Be sure to leave your name, so we know who to motivate on that issue!

10. It’s too late
Some days, time does not permit a run. You woke up über-early and attacked the day with various responsibilities straight through the late evening hours. Often, after a day like this, you might have antsy energy that’s built up all day inside just screaming to burn off. You can go home – and, if you’re like me, suffer a fitful night’s sleep of tossing and turning – or hit the gym late-night to tire yourself out.
There is something wonderful about swiping into the gym after 10pm, and, along with a few other nutty people, owning the space. Trust me, once you get moving, you will work out the stress of the day, and feel so much better for not skipping the workout.

9. I don’t have enough time
It’s understandable that with so many responsibilities in life, running is the first to fall off. But, like we make appointments with clients, co-workers and friends, we need to make appointments with ourselves to run. If your day is overspilling, just a simple half hour promise will do. Sometimes, even this appointment must get pushed off. When this happens, I just make the time for myself the next day even if I need to cut something else out instead.

8. I have a race
You have a race in a few days and want to make sure you are top-notch. Even if you aren’t going to sprint 6 consecutive 6-minute miles – JUST GET OUT THERE. You will feel better during and after your workout, just to get moving. Don’t overdo it, don’t go for a personal record – just lightly keep in practice, and you will feel even more prepared for the big day.

7. I ran yesterday and I’m sore
My solution to this is taking an easy jog. Run at a light speed, varying with some walking. Or – don’t run; cross-train. When I am truly in pain and can’t muster up the strength to do any cardio, I make sure to take a long walk, or extend my daily walk by a few miles.

6. It’s too cold.
When it’s too cold – I just don’t run outside. I know this negates the point of this list, but I hate running in the cold. I told you, I’m an amateur runner; I’m not up to the level of the people who can run marathons several times a year in varying temperatures. To those people, I am continually deeply impressed by their ability, but for me, running in the cold hurts my lungs. I have found one thing that has helped this issue – and that is running with a “Turtle” or scarf and using it as a filter to the cold air. In this case, the breath is self-warming itself. It makes it a little easier to filter the cold air, but I like my other option better – on these days, I pound the treadmill indoors until the sun comes out to play again.

5. My favorite TV show is on
This is why the DVR was invented. Step away from the living room. Put down the can of soda. TV will always be there in syndication, in reruns, on the DVD. Logging a daily workout is more important, over time, than an hour of TV. By keeping our bodies fit on a consistent, daily basis, we will end up in better shape long-term. It is too easy to allow fat to slowly creep into our lives! Break the bad habit before it starts!

4. I’m bored with running
So don’t run! Bike – walk – do jumping jacks – dance – lift – play tennis – do anything to cross-train, and keep moving!!

3. I’m too tired
Many times I’ve wanted to not run due to exhaustion, but have forced myself to get out there – I’ve noticed that once you get started you feel exhilarated. Even more amazing than if you had loafed around at home! Hey, it’s not always easy after a long day at work, or after expending energy cleaning or attending some event, but tiredness is not a valid excuse for skipping that workout.

2. I’m tired. Too tired to move…
This one is rough. Maybe this excuse IS valid. Sometimes we need rest, especially when working out hard. We exhaust ourselves and need a break. Sleep an extra hour or two when your body needs it. Listen to what your body is telling you and make sure you are getting adequate rest. Just don’t make this a daily excuse!

1. This is your excuse. What is your biggest excuse? Leave it in the comments with your name, and I will update this post with your top suggestions.

***July 13, 2010 Update***
Thank you so much to those who contributed responses. Here are reader responses to this post:

@FoodosaurusRex – Work and Weather

@Saket_tg – Travel

WannabeAthlete – Suggested laying out cute clothes the night before, adding new songs to the playlist, mapping a new route. Anything that will help get me out the door!

runningramblings – Weather related: lightening, code red air quality, ice. Maybe if I’m sore or preventing injury too.

Sarah V. – “I’ll just work twice as hard tomorrow, what’s one day off?”

Megan – Getting up early to get workouts in when I have no other choice. I am good working out late at night no problem and even when I am tired… but mornings? no way.

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About the13thmile

I am proud to now say I am a half-marathon runner! Three half-marathons qualify for that status, I think. I blog about about running, nutrition and sometimes some other stuff. I share my research, tips and experiences with you, and am inspired by the supportive running community! I enjoy connecting with other runners, and hearing about other people's running experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have ran marathons or half marathons in the past!
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10 Responses to Top Ten Excuses to Not Run

  1. My biggest excuse is that whole “I’m Tired” one. But I’m trying to psych myself up for my runs. Laying out cute clothes the night before. Adding new songs to my playlist. Mapping out a new route. Anything that will help get me out the door!

  2. My excuses are all weather related; lightening, code red air quality, ice. Maybe if I’m sore or preventing injury too.

  3. Sarah V. says:

    My biggest excuse for not working out in general is that “I’ll just work twice as hard tomorrow, what’s one day off?” And then I promise myself more time throughout the week but never actually work up to it. I finish my 30 minute workout and say, “okay, that’s good enough.” I lose a lot of valuable time that way, and I know its a terrible habit. I’m working on changing it though. Awesome post.

  4. Megan says:

    I’m really bad at getting up early to get workouts in when I have no other choice. I am good working out late at night no problem and even when I am tired… but mornings? no way. It’s a horribly lazy problem.

  5. Mark C. says:

    It’s never too cold.

  6. Laura says:

    It’s too HOT outside. Even at night.

  7. k-man says:

    I’m with Sarah: the “what’s one day off?” kills me.

  8. Zach Johnson says:

    My biggest excuse not to run right now is the air quality in my city. Happens every winter. I found a great site to check your local air quality. Check it out! http://www.homefacts.com/airquality.html

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