Running A-Z: O is for Overcoming Running Obstacles

Welcome to another edition of Running A-Z where I cover a running related topic following the order of the alphabet. If you missed any past posts, you can catch up on letters A-N here.

This week we are on the letter O. Overcoming Running Obstacles. I am not talking about those obstacle course races, although those are loads of fun! When starting and continuing on a regular running program we will likely run into both physical and mental hurdles we need to overcome. Let's get over it together and tackle these obstacles. 

Running A-Z: O is for Obstacles

Running A-Z: O is for Obstacles



Whether getting started means running for the first time or just getting out the door for the hundredth time, getting started can be the hardest part of running. If we find we are spending more time thinking about running and reading about running than actually running, it may be time to get over that hurdle. There's nothing left but to do it. Strap on those running shoes and hit the pavement. Sometimes I tell myself that I just need to run a mile to get myself out the door. Once I am out there I almost never want to stop at a mile. After you're done, you'll be glad you did it.

I regret that run.
— said no runner ever



Motivation is tricky because not all people are motivated to run in the same way. Some people find motivation in external sources like signing up for a future race with friends, running to raise money for charity or hiring a running coach. This is initially effective because you feel motivated to do the work due to expectation from others. You wouldn't want to let down your friends, your charity or your coach. Some people are internally motivated. They are motivated to improve themselves, to beat personal records and prove to themselves they can do it. Figure out what motivates you and run with it (pun intended). Sometimes the external motivation sources get you started and the internal motivation is what drives you to keep going. What motivates you? 


It happens to the best of us. We find our running groove and then get sidelined by an injury. The key is to recover properly so you can return to running as soon as possible. Running through an injury only makes things worse and can majorly extend the time you are off. If possible, spend this time cross training, strength training or any exercise that keeps you active but doesn't stress your injury. Talk to your doctor about what is safe. Want to avoid injuries in the first place? Download my Injury Prevention Checklist on the sidebar.


The biggest obstacle for not exercising or running is not having enough time. I get it. We are all busy, but it is a matter of priorities. What is important to you? If you don't have time, look at your schedule to see where you can make time. Any time wasters in your day? I spend too much time scrolling social media. Is there an opportunity to multi-task? Maybe run with a friend to catch up instead of meeting for dinner or drinks. Maybe watch your favorite TV show (Walking Dead anyone?) on the treadmill. I get up an hour early and do it before I start my day. If you're not a morning person you could squeeze it in during your lunch break or schedule it after dinner. Schedule your workout like any other important task in your day. You don't have to find an hour every day, 30 minutes several times a week will do the trick. If we make it a priority and look closely at how we spend our time, most of us can find the time for it. 

What are your biggest obstacles to overcome in order to run? Did I cover them all? 

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 


While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.