Keeping the gas on!!!


I am suffering with what I hope is a common problem.

I'm new to running (jogging) and find that I can go a couple of minuets and then I just want to stop and walk. I have no strong reason to stop (not strictly true see my Runners Knee post) and I'm not out of breath or anything, I just can't keep going, I simply give up, then hate myself for doing it, walk a little, then get even upset and start again. All good for a while but then it's because I gave up the first time the second isn't as bad and so it continues. 

Any suggestions, other than mental therapy.


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Walk/run strategies are used by many ultrarunners completing in 50m+ events, so don't knock yourself for the odd walking break.

    Are you using a stopwatch or any other training tool when you run?  If you are, instead of thinking about running the whole distance, just think about running for say 5 mins without stopping. When you've managed 5 mins, make the target 6 mins without stopping, then 7 mins without stopping ... until you've built up to completing the whole distance without stopping.  By breaking down the task into achievable chunk, its much easier than looking at the complete challenge.

    If you want to add a bit more structure, then you probably want to look at some of the starter plans like C25K which do tend to include walking breaks.



  • I have struggled with the same thing and still do on the odd occasion. I just try to have songs in my head or concentrate on something other than stopping.

  • As a beginner there is nothing wrong with stopping and walking before running again - you are already doing more than you were before - as you get fitter you'll run further and faster - and wonder what the fuss was about!!! One thought though are you trying to run to fast - slow down and you'll go further for longer.

    And remember to enjoy it - it is supposed to be fun.

  • try following a program, generally to start with you would do a couch to 5k, which specifies walk breaks.

    have a look at the beginners one on here

    or if thats too easy take a look at this one

  • Hi alex,

    Max's mum has provided some really good advice, the plans should come in useful. I would agree with stutyr that walk run strategies are ideal for building up up your mileage, so don't beat yourself up too much if you don't manage to run the full distance!

    It might be helpful to have a target for how long (time or distance) you want to run for befor you intersperse with a walk.

    Good luck!
  • If no one's around, and I'm not too far from the end of the run, I'll try and motivate myself: 'You've got this', or 'only X minutes to go'.  Usually works as well. image

  • Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    It's about motivation, I can go longer. I just don't want to a few moments before I stop. The stop thought creeps in and at first I shrug it of, but the thought gets bigger and bigger and then I stop.
  • If you are having trouble with your minuets try switching to a waltz.

  • Alex I know exactly what you mean. I can also do this before I set off too. I get into my head that I am going to have a bad run and then I do. If I am positive then I am ok. I know it sounds daft but if you need to plan something then do it in your head on a run. I do a blog and I use that time to think of what I am going to write. I get so distracted that I forget to tell my legs to stop.

  • When I used to feel like stopping to walk, I would tell myself "run to the next lamppost/bench/road and then I can reassess". Usually by the time I get to the next lamppost/bench/road, I realise that I actually could do it and it wasn't so bad so then tell myself to run to the next lamppost and so on... Eventually I get into the run and realise I've done half without stopping, so I can do the second half without stopping too.

  • I'd go with the mental therapy.

    Seriously, if there's no other reason for stopping than because "you feel like it", but then feel bad about stopping, and it's only after a couple of minutes, then you just need to harden the fuck up! image

  • Ditto what Lauren555 said. This works especially well for me on hills.

  • I do exactly what Lauren does and it works for me.  I have been running on and off for a few years, but still struggle and think I always will as I find running difficult.  Using the 'baby steps' method by aiming for the next tree or whatever really works, although just before I get to my goal I try and move it to the next lamppost or tree. 

    And I'm still run/walking while I recover from injury, nothing wrong with doing that.  I'm now working on a run 10, walk 2 interval and full expect to be doing all my VLM training using this to keep me injury free.

  • Newbie here and I still run/walk however now try to run to the top of the hill and have my walk break just past the top rather than walk up the hill and on the longer hills try to go an extra 10 metres each time I run it.

    When I find a flat area I'm like Alex and something inside me just tells me to walk when I have stamina to continue and each time it happens I travel less distance before it happens again - weird.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I agree with the mental training. I find thinking about lists or emails i'm planning to write helps me pass the miles... occasionally i'll try and use music so if i'm struggling i'll say: 

    i'll run until the end of this song etc.

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