Keep stopping to walk

I've been running on & off for 6 months & at the beginning of the year got up to doing 8 miles - 10 minute miling but that's fine by me. Then I got injured & went on holiday. Since I've been back, although I've been able to make myself go out and run, (3 or 4 miles), 3 or 4 times a week, I keep stopping to walk. My legs don't feel tired, so I don't think its really my fitness, just my head! What can I do to keep myself going - I trying slowing down to an even ploddier plod, but then I just walk. Once I've started walking, that's it I keep doing it every couple of minutes. So frustrating. The thing is I want to do the Plymouth half at the end of May and am worried this will hamper my schedule.



  • I imagine Gail from Coronation Street chasing me - that always stops me walking! But there are all sorts of similar (and not so similar) mind-games you can play to keep you going. The tried and tested "imagine you're actually in a race", for example.

    I agree though, the big problem is that if you stop once, you keep stopping.
  • Emma-i have two suggestions for you stopping problem. Firstly, if you are training on your own, music is always a good bet (high tempo stuff). Also, I find that if i run in a semi-busy environment (ie.quite a few people around) the temptation to keep going and look good overides the tempation to stop running and walk! Secondly, I find that training with someone else really helps loads. If you do train with someone else, you can talk and lets your minds wander! Before you know it, you'll have been running for an hour and a half!

    Hope this helps, good luck with the Plymouth half!
  • Thanks for the tips guys. I tried running with music the other day, the walkman chaffed my hip! I run with a couple of friends but they're happy to walk if I want to, likewise if they're tired, I'd walk for them. I guess I should ask them to shout at me to keep me going. Unfortunately, I have no shame, (good job or I'd never go out for a run!), and don't care if people see me walking, chances are they're even more unfit than I am!
  • Hi Emma,
    What about trying a shorter run for a while. That way you wont feel so much like walking. Once you have kicked the walking habit you can build up the miles again.

    Or you could follow the Penguin's advice and run 5 mins and walk 1 min. If you build the walks into your training you wont feel so bad about it. In the webchats with the Penguin, he thought that most people would be faster with 1 min walk anyway.
  • one of my running pals has had this problem, and once she starts walking she never wants to start again. the rest of us have tried shouting, cajoling, nagging...everything but little seems to work. I always think it's much harder to start running again once you've stopped. to break the cycle, why not allow yourself to stop (if you really really have to) but only walk the distance between two lamposts. if you stop to walk you must then run the next distance. it might work (it's helped my chum abit to get out of the habit of thinking that stopping is the easy option)
  • I don't think that walkmen are necessarily a good idea, just from the point of view of us girlies being snuck up upon from behind whilst distracted by the music. However, I do agree that music is a good idea. Personally I get round this by singing to myself (in my head!), sometimes even just a line or two from a song that's got quite motivational lyrics. I know it sounds lame but the sort of cheesy music that you get in your average aerobics class works for me.
  • I used to do the same weasel, but I couldn't get Karma Chameleon out of my head so had to choose between buying an MP3 or being sectioned :-)
  • I just started training recently, and found that training with a friend didn't help at all. Different pace, stamina and all that. I find it much better training on my own.

    What helps me is my sports watch. I set it to bleep at set intervals, and I don't stop running until it bleeps.

    Hope this helps.
  • Thanks for your ideas - I'll give them ago tonight - speedwork in the gym planned. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated. Maybe I just need someone behind me to give me a kick up the pants if I start walking.
  • oh no keswick, now you've mentioned it I'm sure that I too will be listening to Boy George next time, argh!!! :o)
  • #...running would be easy if your colours were like my dreams, red gold and green...#
  •, gold and greeeeeee-eee-ee-eeeeen...#
  • "Every run feels like survival!"
  • "you're my running partner not my riiii-val"
  • Emma, I'm having exactly the same problems since a nasty bout of flu in January.
  • Well last night I did my 3 miles with 50 metre bursts singing along to Culture Club, and it worked! I reckon a couple more of these and I may have cracked it that walking business. Sassie, give it a go - if you don't like culture club, try something else - perhaps you were a Duran-ette?! It definitely help setting myself an easyish run after a couple that I found tough - definitely maybe go a little shorter to get your "I can do this" type confidence back up. That's what I find most frustrating - I've run 5 miles before, why can't I do 4 anymore!
  • Good comments you lot. Well done. I will try it tmrw morning.

    Got that flippin' song stuck in my head now though!
  • Emma - I've thought a lot about your problem since reading it a couple of days ago, 'cos I'm tackling the same thing.

    I'd get this overwhelming desire to stop and walk - in training runs and in races. So I tried to think it out logically. It happened when I was not particularly distressed by effort - usual training pace of 70% working heart rate, 3:3 breathing - no sweat. I wasn't ill - usual good health despite slight overweight and excess alcohol intake.

    Therefore: it wasn't physical, it must be mental.

    I looked at the "self-talk" when I wanted to stop - the "tapes" that were playing in my head....

    If I was running with other people , I was saying "I won't be able to keep up, I can't keep up, I must walk..."

    If I was running alone I was saying " So many more miles to go, I can't keep this up, I must walk.... or, I'm running well, it can't last, I'll get tired, I must walk..."

    and lots of variations on these themes, so: I started a remedial program of running alone, starting with about 30 mins and working upwards. I purposely went slowly, just a tad above the effort needed to sit in an armchair. The sole objective was to move along continuously (apart from stopping to cross road junctions which is unavoidable round here). I play different "tapes" in my head about felling comfortable, feeling strong, and going steadily.

    It's working. I'm now back to running 8 miles continuously at a steady pace, in comfort.

    Everybody is different, but you may be able to take some elements of this and adapt them - sounds as if you're beginning to crack it already. Good luck.
  • Thanks Lynne. I actually did exactly what you said yesterday and, true to my Plymouth 1/2 training programme did my 5-6 miles, (well I ran for an hour). Legs feel tired today but that feels good. Hoorah - I can run forever!
  • It seems you've got this sorted now but I'll add my thoughts on it as I had exactly the same problem until my last run when I thought...I'll keep going until the end of the road... and by the time I'd reached the end of the road the idea of walking had gone out of my head and I continued to plod. I managed four miles without walking doing that and for me that was good....
    Well done on your last run and good luck for the Plymouth 1/ won't need it though :-)
  • Glad you're getting it sorted, Emma.

    Have a great time at Plymouth!

  • the way you're going now you won't want to stop at'll end up (at a steady pace) in my part of the world...!!
  • Not after the cream tea - I think this is what I'll envisage to keep me going. After that, no chance of running anywhere for a while, though I'll need to.
  • All this stuff about how to beat walking is just what I need even though it's seven months old; perhaps the thread will revive.

    Trouble is I think I walk faster than I run. Actually "run" is a euphemism for what I do. Plod fits. I have a theory that there are four running paces: sprint, run, jog, plod. I thought I had invented the word plod until I read some of these threads. Plod is slightly slower than walking and the other three paces are impossibly fast.

    Back there Miss Piggy quoted the Penguin, whoever that is, as saying that most people would go faster with a 1min walk every so often. I certainly do and it could be that it's because I walk faster than I run(plod).

    I've been doing 5 miles a couple of times a week and don't have any trouble doing it but it takes me an hour! That's 12min miles.

    Someone wrote that she was "okay" with 10min miles which made me think she'd really like to improve on it, for me it's a pipe dream, and I don't even have a pipe! It seems that it's a case of getting the miles in and things must get better but it's taking a long time and sometimes I think I'm going backwards. A friend told me that I could train up to a marathon from nothing in a year and that's what I'm aiming at but it doesn't seem to be getting any closer.

    I'd better stop this load of waffle, although as a newbie there's loads I'd like to ask but I s'pose there's time enough for that. I just hope I'm not sending you all to sleeeeee.....p
  • I've found the Penguin now. Sorry about that, I should've looked around a bit more before chipping in, I guess. Still there's so much here you can't find it all in five minutes!
  • Could you not try running in Oxford street at 4.40 on a many shops,so little time etc.etc?

    Blatant sexist gag,sorry.I'm gonna shut up and try to discover why my running get up and go has got up and buggered off...


    "Sex is a private thing. It should between you and the person you're doing it to."
    Martin Crane-1993"Frasier"
  • Walkman come back!

    lovejoy, get out there
    we all have bad days

    I am putting off mt long run
  • well, ive been out
    walkman, do you do any speedwork?
  • Lovejoy, was that "so many stops"?

    Plodding Hippo, speedwork? Yes, I can sprint all of 15yds provided it's straight back to bed 'cos I can't move afterwards. I jest, I tried 50m once and the quads were knackered for a week afterwards. Kinda puts you off!
  • my humour(?!) baffles even me sometimes....

    I'm forcing myelf off out running in a bit.I know,I know,my body clock's buggered.I shoulda been a vampire :-)=


    "Sex is a private thing. It should between you and the person you're doing it to."
    Martin Crane-1993"Frasier"
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