Exercise! - Why can't I run?!

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03-17-2013, 10:25 PM
Let me first start off by saying that I have not actually *run* since...oh, gym class in grade school, I'd say. But I have no problem admitting that I want to be "a runner" soooo badly. A friend of mine recently completed her first half-marathon (after only running for about a year) and she has inspired me so much. Honestly? It may be laughable, but my dream is to celebrate my 35th birthday (in two years) by running the Halifax Bluenose Marathon. :dizzy:

But there's one problem: I seem to have a sort of mental block when it comes to actually....running. I'll be on the treadmill at the gym, and I'll be *walking* at a 5.0 mph pace, and I'll be thinking, "At this speed, I could totally start at least jogging"....but I don't. And as much as I hate to admit it (because who likes to admit that they care what others think?) it's mostly because I figure I'll look stupid running since I'll have to start off incredibly slowly.

It drives me mad, because while I'm at the gym driving myself nuts with the whole "I want to run/I can't run" argument, there'll be someone on the treadmill next to mine, running, and half the time it's someone who's a fair bit heavier than me, and all I'm thinking is, "See, they look good running!" even though, hey, when they started out they probably felt the same way I do.

I just don't know how to get over this stupidity. I really, really want to run. Am I doomed to just...never be able to run? Am I the only one who feels this way? I don't want to feel like this, and I'd love to hear your input on how I could possibly overcome this crap.

03-17-2013, 11:41 PM
Could you try running outside instead of at the gym, so you wouldn't feel like people were watching you? Or maybe try Couch to 5K. The first week of the program you only have to run for 60 seconds (alternated with 90 seconds of walking) so you could tell yourself, "It's ONLY 60 seconds. I CAN do this." It gives you starting point. Also, ask yourself WHY you want to do this. Perhaps your motivation lies in your answer to that question.

Good luck! Go girl go! :running:

03-18-2013, 04:26 AM
Take your time, start out slow, don't run all out at first, try the C25K it's an excellent program...

03-18-2013, 08:22 AM
I agree with starting out slow and C25K is great. Right now you walk 5 mph which is faster than a lot of people jog/run.

03-18-2013, 08:26 AM
I completely understand where you're coming from. I had the very same mental block. I JUST COULD NOT RUN. I had a mental loop running through my head. "you can't run, you can't run"

I then did the C25K program. I HIGHLY recommend it. It got me running. I ran a 5k last summer - at the very end of the couch to 5K. I'm pretty sure I had never run 5K in my whole life.

Don't worry about being slow. Who cares? Running is running. Worry about getting faster later. I'm still slow. I still need to use training programmes to make myself run and achieve more. But I've also found a purpose for running. I started playing rugby. I have to run.

03-18-2013, 08:32 AM
Another vote for C25K. Just start slow and do it. Don't worry about what other people are thinking. I'm still really slow, but a mile is a mile, no matter how slow. I started with C25K last summer, and I just did my first half marathon last month.

03-18-2013, 10:37 AM
I suppose I have this mental block as well. I can only run on a treadmill for a minute at 5 mph. I've never been a runner. Its like my body isn't equipped for it.

03-18-2013, 10:40 AM
You have the "want" to do it...so i say give it all you got! Start slow and keep at it. I too will be able to run again someday, but I have lot of work to do before I get there:) good luck:smug:

03-18-2013, 11:42 AM
I'm with you on this. I have NEVER been a runner. Even when I was in cheerleading/gymnastics and I was in shape I would start running and all of a sudden I would feel like I was going to die. There is this one girl at the gym who's a little bigger than I am and she runs for about a half hour straight, and I can't even jog for 2 minutes. I've tried the "Couch to 5K" program and even then I just can't get into it. Everybody says if I had better shoes I would like it more, but I've gone through at least 4 pairs of gym shoes, and I still dislike running.

03-18-2013, 12:14 PM
I love running more than other exercises, dont know why i just do. I used to walk on the treadmill thinking "i cant run, i will look so stupid" then one day I had my headphones in and I saw this really skinny girl running on the treadmill and I thought to myself "i want a body like that, how can i get a body like that?" then it clicked - want that body? run for that body! so I did, I still feel like an idiot plodding along on my treadmill but I find a girl in the gym who's body i envy and I say to myself "Run for that body" make me feel like i have accomplised something after my run.

03-18-2013, 12:25 PM
I can't run on treadmills at all. They freak me out cause you have to go the pace of the machine. I agree that you might do better to try it outside. I started by going to a high school track and jogging the straights and walking the curves as I couldn't even run the 60 seconds or whatever required by Cto5K. If you can jog 10 feet, jog 10 feet and then walk to recover. Repeat until you can jog 12 feet.

Start slow, go slow, be patient and get good shoes. Be consistent and make sure you allow recovery in between days that you run.

It's not laughable at all to think you can do a marathon in 2 years. I think it's very realistic!

Angelic Fruitcake
03-18-2013, 12:34 PM
Who will think you look stupid because you're slow? Other people at the gym? And you're letting these strangers get in the way of your dreams of becoming a runner?

I know it's not easy, but you have to ignore everyone else and do your thing. I want to be a runner too. My first race is in September. Right now, I'm doing C25K and I want to die, I have a hard time running the whole 60 seconds. And I'm very, very slow. There are people who walk faster than I jog. But I want to be a runner so I run. And if people are laughing at me, oh well, at least I'm entertaining someone :)

03-18-2013, 12:41 PM
And remember, "I may be slow, but I'm lapping everyone who's sitting on the couch!"

03-18-2013, 01:33 PM
You're five feet tall and can walk 5.0 mph on the treadmill? That's pretty impressive.

Others' suggestions have been good. It definitely sounds like a mental block and not a physical one - running outside or when no one else is in the gym could take away the "people are watching" element. No one starts off running as an amazing graceful gazelle - it will take at least a few weeks of feeling out of breath and huffing and puffing, but you'll get there!

03-18-2013, 05:43 PM
I, too, wanted to be a runner. And I totally second, or third the Couch to 5k program. I started mine in January, have been working on it three times a week and today I ran a full 30 minutes without stopping!!! Now, it was at a slower pace than what you are walking, but.... I did it! And you can too. Good luck!!

03-18-2013, 07:08 PM
And remember, "I may be slow, but I'm lapping everyone who's sitting on the couch!"


I've always had a similar mental block telling me that I can't possibly run. I'd wanted to start Couch to 5k for at least a couple of years, had the program all printed out and ready to go, but there was always a reason why not: too fat, too slow, too unfit, not physically suited to running...

Then tonight when I was looking up C25K online yet again, I read that quote and something clicked. I put on some gym clothes and went out in the street and did my first C25K session, just like that!

Of course I was slow and I sucked at the jogging parts, but you know what? Not only did I survive the 20 minutes of alternate walking/jogging...I absolutely loved it! Now I'm buzzing and can't wait to go again.

If I did it, you can do it too! Don't think about it, just do it! :D

03-19-2013, 04:33 PM
I think its exactly like you said.. its a mental block. dig deeper. Why are you avoiding this? You can run, you know you can. But why wont you allow yourself to accomplish this task?