Maybe you’re like me and you’re just being harsh on yourself or maybe you do suck at running! But before you hang up your trainers and go looking for another sport to try, I find it’s best to dig into some of the most obvious reasons. So, why am I so bad at running?
If you’re a beginner runner, you probably just need a little patience. Your performance will start to improve drastically as your body adapts to the onslaught of regular miles.
For more experienced runners, let’s be honest – are you doing the things you need to do to become a better runner? It’s all very well complaining that you’re a slow runner but if you’re not working on your speed with strength and interval training, how can you expect to run faster?
Why Am I So Bad At Running?
Here’s some tough love:
#1 You Don’t Warm Up
Do you spend most of your day inactive sitting in front of a computer? Then you can’t expect your body to launch into a run without a few grumbles.
Aside from reducing injury risk, a proper warm-up prepares your body to run. Warm muscles will always work better. Try these dynamic stretches and start with 1-2 miles of easy-paced running.
#2 Setting Off Too Fast
Pacing is everything. Setting off too fast is the downfall of many beginner runners and even experienced runners will fall into this trap at the start of a race.
Slow down. If you’re new to running and struggling to run continuously, set off as slowly as possible. The pace may feel ridiculously slow but if it means you can hit your target distance – it’s the right pace.
When you can run at least 2 miles continuously, then it’s okay to try going a little faster. A good technique is to aim for a negative split where you complete the second half of your route slightly faster than the first.
#3 You Don’t Run Regularly
A little honesty, please! You can’t expect to be good at running if you only go once a week. Like everything, to be good it takes practice and to get results you need to be training at least 3 times a week.
So stop making excuses and get into a regular habit. It helps to plan ahead. If you’re training first thing, lay out your kit the night before and make sure you go to bed early!
#4 Never Push Yourself
There is nothing wrong with being a slow runner. If you enjoy being in your comfort zone, stay there. You’re still getting all the benefits of running from good cardio to healthy bones and better mental well-being.
But if you’re constantly complaining “Why am I so bad at running” – do something about it!
Work on your performance! Interval training, hill repeats, using proper technique – these are all tools everyone can use to run faster.
#5 You Always Run On Your Own
The best tip to improve your overall running performance is to find a running buddy. If possible – train with someone slightly better than you.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you improve. When you run with someone faster, you’ll start working hard to match their pace. The effort pays off.
#6 You Don’t Do Any Strengthening Exercises
You can’t expect your physical performance to improve unless you work on your strength. Add these bodyweight exercises to your training schedule on rest days and work on your areas of weakness.
Many runners have muscle imbalances. By working on your weak side you’ll avoid injury and become a stronger runner.
#7 Over Training
If you don’t let your body recover between training sessions, you’ll be running with muscle soreness and heavy legs. Don’t risk overuse injuries. Make sure you have adequate rest days in your schedule.
For beginner runners start with 3 times a week and up to 2 days of cross-training. If your body is crying out for a rest day – take one!
#8 You Don’t Enter Any Races
You can choose to be a runner and never race. Just don’t expect to improve.
Racing gives you a target. It’s something to train for and a reason to push yourself. Plus they can be a lot of fun!
Many runners are scared to enter races. Get over yourself! The reality is no one cares where you come in a race and when you reach that finish line neither will you.
#9 You’re Too Hard On Yourself
This is my problem. I don’t give myself enough credit. I’m always thinking at the end of races – why didn’t I go a little faster?
Take a breath, let the feel-good endorphins course through your body, and reflect that you’re out there making an effort.
Celebrate each race – whatever the outcome. Enjoy crossing that finish line. Give yourself some credit – you deserve it!