We’ve heard it all before. You really had the intention of going for a run but somewhere, somehow, a small little voice in your mind tells you not to. It’s your evil twin cajoling you to take the easy way out. In the end, you end up procrastinating, telling yourself you will run another day and make up some excuses to justify your decision.
So what are the top excuses we use to avoid running and how can we counter them? Admittedly, I am guilty of some listed below.
1. "I don't have the time" / "I'm too busy."
The key to this is to prioritise. Everyone has 24 hours a day. No more, no less. A run only takes an average maximum of one hour for normal people (not talking ultra-marathoners here) to complete in their daily schedule. You don’t have to run every single day, but you can put aside the time you use to watch that drama series of yours or any other passive activity a few times a week and go for a run instead. Remember, it is all about prioritising. Don’t just watch Running Man all the time; get out for a real run!
2. "I'm afraid people are watching and judging me."
Chances are the only person critically watching you is you. Everyone is in survival mode and is running for the same thing - to improve their fitness level, get in shape, and achieve personal goals like bettering their health or to look good. Don't feel self-conscious and use your workout time to really focus on yourself and not what everyone else thinks. Every runner started off with baby steps and worked their mileage up. There is no shortcut.
3. "I'm too tired, old or fat."
Never let your age, size or anyone hold you back. No one is asking you to win a race or expect you to run a 4:30min/km pace. Everyone can be and is a runner despite whatever shape or size you are. Take inspiration from Punjabi born Fauja Singh, who started running his first marathon at the ripe old age of 89 and at 101 years old, recently completed a 10km race in the Hong Kong Marathon. Your body is capable of a lot more than you give it credit for.
Plus, going for a run will energise you and make you feel better. I have never once heard anyone say they regretted working out but I have heard lots of people say: "I should have gone for that run."
4. "I Get Bored Easily."
It’s easy to get stuck in a running rut when you regularly pound the same pavement each time. Mix it up by trying out new routes. Whenever you reach the junction where you normally turn left, try running right and see where it leads you or if you have never participated in a race before, now’s the time to sign up. Singapore has so many up and coming events this year with scenic routes that will never leave you bored. Sign up for one today!
5. "I'm Just Not Motivated to Run."
Sometimes, we all go through that period of being unmotivated to run. One way to counter this is to find a running buddy or a running group to keep you feeling inspired. The social interaction and friendly competition will help boost your interest in running and besides, when you know people are counting on you to show up, you will be more committed and motivated to do so.
6. "It's too hot (cold/rainy) outside."
A very common excuse is to blame the weather. Sorry but this is lame. If it’s too hot outside, run indoors on the treadmill. If you don’t have a gym membership, there are clubfitt gyms conveniently located all across the island that are open to the public for a nominal fee of $2.50. If it is too cold, run with a windbreaker or wear a long sleeved top and track pants. The whole point here is to be consistent and not let the weather dictate whether you should run or not.
7. "I'm just feeling lazy."
Fair enough. We all have lazy days where we rather be doing nothing instead of running but if you find your lazy days increasing; do something about it before it turns into a vicious cycle. Lay out your running attire an hour before your run, refocus on the reasons why you started running and be thankful that you can run. There are people out there who would trade places in the world with you just to be able to walk. Dedicate this run to them.
8. "I need to charge my iPod."
This is one good excuse to use especially if you are the kind who needs to run with music or on the treadmill. That would be sheer torture, but I guess you just have to suck it up and run without it. Take the opportunity to listen to the rhythm of your breathing, the sound of nature around you or just take the time to think about issues that need to be sorted out. Running helps clear your head, and it's during these times where aha! moments are thought of. After all, running without music beats not running at all.
So throw the excuses out of the door, lace up, put a bright smile on your face and enjoy your run! You will be thankful you did.