5 Tips on How to Power Through a Tough Run (That Really Work!)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

That doesn’t make the going any less tough. But these tips should really help! Sometimes it just does not feel good to run. Whether you are just beginning to run or have been running for years, ALL runners have the moments where you just want to slow your feet to a walking pace and give up. Here are tips to power through that desire to quit that work for me.

1. Take it song by song.


Try singing the song playing in your ears as loud as possible in your head. I have heard a lot of runners have a mantra they say to themselves when it gets tough. But that doesn’t really work for me. When I am saying mantras in my head like “you got this” or “I think I can” or “You are stronger than you know” they sound like I’m trying to convince myself but don’t actually believe them to be true, lol. I’m all for using mantras in yoga practice, but it just doesn’t work for me while running. BUT, singing the song in my head loudly does. If I am really just jamming out in your head and focusing hard on the imaginary jam session, I’m no longer having the internal battle in my head thinking about quitting. This only leaves the 3-8 seconds in between songs as time where my brain isn’t pre-occupied and might head down the “just stop” path. If you can run through those 3-8 seconds, you’ll be golden.

2. Switch it up.


Run backwards. Run crazier. Put some pep in your step! I’m sure the few joggers I encountered this morning on the trail thought I had terrible running form, but actually I was intentionally over exaggerating my hip movements because it felt like I was run-dancing and I went from being miserable to actually grinning ear to ear.  At one point I even broke into a full on leaping prance and I’m not even kidding. It was hilarious and  no one was around to see, so what ever.

3. Get angry.


Everyone gets angry. What better time to get your anger out then while on a run? That is truly taking negative energy and turning it into something positive! Anger is a very energizing and powerful emotion. Sometimes running sucks. It’s ok to be angry about it. That’s why those Running Sucks shirts are so popular. All those angry runners out there, haha.

4. Run on a tight schedule.


This is something I don’t normally advise, ESPECIALLY for a long run. But if you are squeezing a run in before work or class or a deadline and you run a few miles away and things start to get tough, you still have to run and not walk back if you want to be on schedule. Tricky and slightly stressful, I know. But this tip definitely works.

5. Slow it down.


Sometimes I just need to slow my pace to a crawl, and that’s ok. Slow your pace and focus on keeping your abdominals super engaged. If you need to walk for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds. It REALLY isn’t the end of the world. After your 30 seconds challenge yourself to run for a whole X (insert how many minutes sounds right to you). There’s a good chance that once you reach X minutes you’ll want to keep running anyways and maybe that one 30 second break is all you needed. An object in motion likes to stay in motion!

Please comment below if you have any great tips! I’m always looking for more :)!

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