That “I can’t go on any longer” feeling can be a real kicker, but sometimes it happens for a reason. Sometimes we’re pushing ourselves too hard, setting unrealistic goals or missing the point of our workouts. Understanding why a run is getting the better of us is a very good way to turn a perceived failure into an opportunity to take a closer look at our fitness and take a more positive approach next time.
So, should you accept defeat or should you stick at it? Here are the questions which will help you decide…
1. What was the purpose of your run?
To increase speed? To increase distance? If speed is your goal and you find yourself switching to a slower and slower pace, it’s time to stop and review your plan. If you’re working to cover greater distances, plugging away – no matter what your pace – is essential so keep on going!
2. Is this goal realistic?
Whether you’re training for a marathon or simply working to increase your fitness, it’s important that your goals are realistic. If they’re not, you’re more likely to fail and feel defeated which can cripple your motivation. Don’t feel defeated by bad days but if you’re consistently failing to meet your targets, it’s time to review your goals to make success more achievable.
3. Are you inspired by your plan?
How driven are you to achieve your running goals? If the answer is “not very”, it could be the reasons you’re finding achieving your targets more difficult. If you’re feeling uninspired, consider improving your momentum by signing up for a race or by trying a new form of exercise to mix things up.
4. Are external factors affecting your performance?
From bad weather to poor sleep, family problems to blood donations, there is a multitude of factors which could mean your run defeats you. If the source of the problem is the weather – push on and be more forgiving about your pace. For tiredness and stress, reduce your speed but use any frustrations to help make sure you go the distance. If you’re simply feeling poorly – quit while you’re ahead to prevent worsening your condition.
5. Does it hurt in a specific area?
If so, quit the run immediately, whether the pain is in the knee, back, shoulder or elsewhere. Pushing on risks more serious damage. Switch to a week or two of low impact exercise like swimming and, if the problem does not resolve, consult your doctor.
How often do you give up on your runs? How do you motivate yourself to keep going? Have your say with other runners below.