“I’m not a quitter, but running is starting to make me question my commitment.”
I’m a runner. I love running. I love the feeling of the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. I love the feeling of my muscles working and the sound of my feet hitting the ground. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish a run.
However, some days, it seems like everything goes wrong. I’m not in the mood to run, my body feels sluggish, and I can’t seem to find my rhythm. On days like these, it’s easy to get discouraged and want to give up. But I always push through, because I know that on the other side of that frustrating run is a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Why are beginner runners so frustrated and afraid?
If you’re new to running, it’s only natural to feel a little frustrated and even afraid at times. After all, running is a demanding sport that requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and discipline.
There’s no doubt that running can be tough, especially in the beginning. But the good news is that with a little patience and perseverance, anyone can overcome the challenges of running and become a successful runner.
So why are runners so frustrated and afraid? Here are a few of the most common reasons:
1. They’re not seeing results.
One of the most frustrating things for distance runners is not seeing results. They may feel like they’re working hard, but the scale isn’t budging or their clothes aren’t fitting any better.
This can be discouraging, but it’s important to remember that weight loss is not the only measure of success when it comes to running. In fact, many runners find that their biggest accomplishment is simply finishing a run.
2. They’re not sure how to train.
Another common frustration for beginner runners is not knowing how to train. They may be following a training plan, but it’s not working for them or they’re not seeing the results they want.
This is often due to the fact that beginner runners don’t have a solid understanding of how to train properly. They may be doing too much or too little, and they may not be using the right type of training.
3. They’re injured.
Unfortunately, injuries are a common occurrence in running and trying to remain injury free can feel like a unachievable task. Beginner runners may be especially susceptible to injuries because they’re not used to the demands of running.
This can be a frustrating and even scary experience, but it’s important to remember that injuries are part of the sport. With the proper treatment and rehabilitation, most running injuries will heal and runners will be able to get back into running.
4. They’re not motivated.
One of the biggest challenges for runners is staying motivated. It’s easy to get discouraged when progress is slow or when there are set-backs, such as injuries.
It’s important to find ways to stay motivated, such as setting goals, work with a running coach, running with friends, or joining a running club. Additionally, beginner runners should remember that running is a lifelong journey and there will be ups and downs along the way.
5. They don’t believe in themselves.
One of the biggest obstacles for runners is a lack of self-confidence. They may doubt their ability to reach their goals or they may feel like they’re not good enough to be a runner.
This can be a major hindrance to success, but it’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere. Everyone has to start as a beginner runner, and with hard work and dedication, anyone can become a successful runner.
Common beginner runner frustrations and fears, plus how to overcome them
You’re new to running. You’ve signed up for a 5K and have started training. But then, something happens. You start to feel frustrated. Fear sets in. And you start to doubt your ability to complete the race.
What’s going on?
It’s normal to feel frustrated and even scared when you’re first starting out as a runner. After all, running is a new activity and you’re not sure what to expect. But don’t let these emotions stop you from reaching your goals.
Here are some common beginner runner frustrations and fears, plus how to overcome them.
1. I’m not sure where to start.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources to help you get started. You can find beginner running programs online or in running magazines. You can also ask a friend or family member who’s a runner for advice and keep you motivated
Also, try a few different running routes to see which one you like best. You can also sign up for a race or event to give yourself a goal to work towards.
2. I’m not fast enough.
One of the most common runner frustrations is feeling like everyone else is running faster than you and that you’ll never be able to catch up or get faster. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel like you’re not moving as quickly as other runners.
The key is to focus on your own progress, not compare yourself to others. Here’s the thing: everyone was a beginner runner at one point. And everyone has different natural speeds. So don’t compare yourself to others. Just focus on running at your own pace and building up your endurance.
3. I can’t run for very long.
Another common frustration for runners is feeling like you can’t run for very long. Again, this is normal. Your body is not used to running and it will take time to build up your endurance.
Start by running for short periods of time and gradually increase the length of your runs. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Just focus on slowly increasing your mileage and you’ll eventually be able to run for longer periods of time.
4. I’m always tired.
If you’re new to running, it’s normal to feel tired all the time. Running is a physically demanding activity and your body needs time to adjust.
To help combat fatigue, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and rest. Also, look at your nutrition and try to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein. And finally, don’t forget to hydrate!
5. I’m afraid of getting injured.
Another common fear for beginner runners is the fear of getting injured. This is understandable since running does put stress on your body.
However, you can reduce your risk of injury by following a few simple exercise guidelines. First, make sure you’re gradually increasing your mileage and not doing too much too soon. Second, pay attention to your body and listen to it if it’s telling you to slow down or take a break.
Third, incoporate strength training as part of your running routine as it can help boost your running performance as well as reduce the risk of injuries.
And finally, don’t forget to warm up before your run with some light stretching or walking and cool down properly. Warming up helps to loosen your muscles and prepare them for the run ahead. Cooling down helps your body to recover from workouts and prevents injuries.
6. I’m not sure I’m doing it right.
This is another common runner frustration, but it’s also easily overcome. There are a few basic principles of running that you should follow, such as using proper form and breathing deeply. But other than that, just do what feels comfortable for you. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re doing it right!
7. I’m worried about what other people will think of me.
Remember that everyone was a beginner once, and most people are supportive of others who are trying to get healthy and fit. If you’re worried about being judged, start by running in a place where you feel comfortable, such as a park or trail. You can also run with a friend or family member who can offer support and encouragement.
8. I’m never going to be able to run a marathon.
This is another common fear among runners get frustrated about. It can be incredibly discouraging to think that you’ll never be able to reach your goal. However, it’s important to remember that marathon training is a gradual process. It takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can absolutely reach your marathon goals.
We see people running marathons and think to ourselves “I could never do that.” And it’s true, most of us will never be able to run a marathon. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy running and get a lot of benefits from it.
9. I’m too old to start running.
This is simply not true! You’re never too old to start running. In fact, many people start running in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s. Older runners often have more stamina and endurance than young runners, and they’re less likely to get injured.
10. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.
If you’re new to running, it’s natural to feel like you’re not sure if you’re doing it right. There are so many different ways to run, and it can be hard to know which is best for you. The good news is, there’s no wrong way to run. As long as you’re moving your legs and breathing, you’re doing it right.
Of course, there are certain techniques that can help you run more efficiently and avoid injuries. But the best way to learn those is to experiment and find what works best for you. There’s no need to worry about doing it perfectly. Just get out there and enjoy the process.
11. I’m afraid I’ll never improve.
Another common fear among runners is the feeling that they’ll never get any better. If you’re struggling to run even a short distance, it can be easy to feel like you’re stuck at that level forever. But the truth is, almost everyone improves with time and practice.
If you’re feeling discouraged, remember that it’s important to focus on the journey, not the destination. Running is a process, and every step you take is bringing you closer to your goals. Trust that with time and effort, you will improve and become a better runner. And be sure to celebrate your small victories along the way.
12. I don’t have time to run
Many people believe that they don’t have time to run. But if you’re creative, you can probably find time to fit it into your schedule.
For example, you can run during your lunch break, before work, or in the evening after your kids are in bed.
13. I’m not sure what to wear
If you’re not sure what to wear, start with comfortable, breathable clothing. You don’t need to buy expensive running gear to get started. Just make sure your clothes won’t chafe or rub you the wrong way.
14. I don’t know where to run
If you’re not sure where to run, start by exploring your neighborhood or a nearby park. Once you get more comfortable, you can branch out and explore new trails or routes.
15. I’m not sure how to stay motivated
If you’re struggling to stay motivated, try setting goals or joining a running group. Having a specific goal to work towards can help you stay on track. And running with friends or fellow runners can make the experience more enjoyable and motivating.
These are just a few of the most common runner frustrations and fears. But don’t let them stop you from starting your running journey. Just take things one step at a time and focus on enjoying the process.
Overall action plan:
All of the above fears and frustrations are completely normal. The important thing is to not let them get in the way of your running goals. Here are a few tips to help you overcome your runner fears and frustrations:
1. Get educated
If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s natural to feel afraid or frustrated. The best way to overcome this is to educate yourself on the basics of running. Read books or articles, watch videos, or talk to experienced runners to learn more about proper form, pacing, and injury prevention.
2. Find a support group
It can be helpful to find a group of people who are in the same boat as you. There are many running groups out there that can offer support and motivation.
3. Set realistic goals
One of the biggest mistakes beginner runners make is setting unrealistic goals. If you’re just starting out, it’s important to set achievable goals. Start by setting a goal to run a certain distance or time, and then gradually increase your goals as you become more confident and comfortable with running.
4. Be patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a strong running foundation. It takes time and patience to develop as a runner. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Trust the process and give yourself time to improve.
5. Have fun
Running should be enjoyable, so make sure to find ways to make it fun. Listen to music or podcasts, run with friends, or explore new trails. When you make running fun, it’s easier to stick with it.
If you’re a beginner runner, don’t let frustration and fear get in the way of your goals. With a little education, patience, and effort, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful runner.