Monday, March 25, 2019

Feeling Stuck in Your Mileage

A question that I've been asked a few times is "How keeps you going when you run more than 1 mile?" Questions like this come up quite often and I can understand why. Every year around this time, while I'm just getting training going again, I struggle to get past about 2.5 miles too. So I think this is a pretty common thing that people who are either beginner runners or just coming back from a break or an injury deal with.

There are a couple of different answers to this question so I wanted to share what I do and give you some ideas that can help if you're in this situation.

The very first thing I tell people when I get this question, or questions about increasing mileage or being stuck at a certain mileage is that if you run outside it is WAY easier to go further. When you run on the treadmill, there is the big red stop button begging you to push it the whole time, but if you go outside to run, you don't have that option. You have to get home anyway so you might as well keep going. This tip almost always helps when it comes to increasing mileage.



Along with moving your run outdoors, sometimes it helps to focus on running a certain amount of time instead of miles. Sometimes running 3 miles (or more) seems like a lot, but a lot of times if you tell yourself that you're going to go out and run for 30 minutes, you'll be surprised to see that you're running further than you think in that amount of time. Each time you go out, try to increase your time frame by a few minutes and soon you'll be way past that mileage that you felt stuck at!

When I start to feel like I just can not get past 2 miles, or when I really want a long run but know I'm not going to get it done without a little distraction, I turn on my favorite running songs.  Some are upbeat and some are calmer. I just take my pace nice and easy and let my mind wander to something other than how hard my run is feeling. When I can distract my mind, I can usually push myself further.




It can be really frustrating when you feel like you can't get past a certain mileage but a lot of it is mind over matter. And once you push past it, you'll be able to progress a lot quicker and easier.

What is the hardest mileage for you to get past?

How often do you have this happen to you?

14 comments:

  1. I am sure it will be 13 next fall when I have to train for my FIRST marathon.

    Right now on weekdays, I stick to 3 miles because I am tired after work.

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  2. I totally agree with measuring runs by time rather than mileage, especially for interval training. Always surprised by how far I end up running.

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    1. It always surprises me too when I measure it that way!

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  3. Sometimes when I'm not training for a race, I have a hard time going past 6 miles. I'm not sure why 6 is the magic number, but it take a good amount of mental toughness sometimes to break through that mileage.

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    1. I have the same problem, but mostly with 3 miles.

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  4. I definitely prefer running outside and getting away from that stop button lol. I also prefer runs that are by time rather than by mileage somehow this can make the miles tick by faster for some reason.

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  5. I struggle with the jump to double digits. I can do it and have done it, but I will hover at 8 or 9 FOREVER in a training cycle, until I can just shove myself over the line. It's ridiculous LOL.

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    1. It can be so frustrating. I do the same thing. I think so much of it is part of the mental game.

      Have a great day Jennifer!

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  6. I find when I'm not training for a race I just tend to hover at 5 miles, but when I'm following a training plan there is something about running longer than 10 that I always have to mentally prepare myself for.

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  7. I agree it's way easier to go farther outside. You are more distracted and well, you have to get back to where you started! I get stuck at various mileage depending on where I am in a training cycle

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  8. LOL on the stop button begging you to press it - so true! I am comfortable doing an 8 mile run outside. Any longer takes planning, preparation, motivation, and convincing -- unless I'm running with someone else!

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  9. The first 2.5-3 miles always seem ugh, but once I am past the 5k mark, I usually feel pretty good! And probably why I am not a huge fan of 5ks because they always feel like a chore!
    Love getting myself distracted for the long runs! Haha!

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