How to Keep Running When You're Tired

Taking a break from running
Mental and physical strategies help you continue running when you get tired. (Image: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images)

New and experienced runners often face fatigue during training runs and races. exhaustion makes every stride seem like it takes extra effort to propel your body forward. You may be tired for a variety of reasons, including the physical exertion of running, hydration issues, improper fueling and mental roadblocks. Learning to control the various factors enables you to maximize your energy to avoid feeling tired and push through when fatigue does develop. Experiment with techniques to keep you running.

Step 1

Check your running posture to avoid extra strain on your body. As you get tired, you may start dropping your head or slouching. Instead, work on keeping your head up with your shoulders relaxed. Land on your heels before rolling through to the ball of your foot.

Step 2

Drink water or a sports drink throughout your run to prevent dehydration. A lack of water as you exercise causes muscle fatigue that decreases your energy and may cause cramping.

Step 3

Focus on your breathing as a form of distraction. Synchronize your breaths with your running stride to get yourself into a rhythm as a way to propel yourself forward.

Step 4

Think about something other than running so you won't focus so much on your fatigue. Calculate a math problem in your head or think about an upcoming social event you will be attending. Listening to music is another way to distract yourself as you run.

Step 5

Pick a spot in the distance and continue running until you get to that spot. As you near it, choose another object further in the distance. Continue picking spots to encourage yourself to keep running, using shorter distances as the targets.

Step 6

Slow your running pace if you still feel tired or do a walk-and-run combo. Run for 4 minutes then walk for 1 minute for the remainder of your workout.

Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Sports drink

Tip

To avoid getting tired too soon into your routine, run at times when you naturally have more energy. Eat a snack with slow-digesting carbohydrates and protein an hour before your run such as a small peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread.

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