How to Run Faster Than That Voice in Your Head

How to Run Faster Than That Voice in Your Head

Outrunning that voice in your head!

These are my big ol’ size 9.5 feet. These feet have taken me far as an athlete. They have helped me land gracefully when I ran hurdles, helped me stay balanced on rocky hiking trails, and begrudgingly helped me cross the finish line in my only half marathon run.  But these days the hardest work they do is help carry around my extra 20 pounds. This morning they stared back at me in the locker room at my gym. I was there…dressed and ready…for something. I wanted to go upstairs, hit the equipment, and leave 10-20 pounds lighter (if only, right?). It took me about 15 minutes of sitting there moaning to myself about how I was unmotivated to finally get up and move. I bet you can relate. Why is it so hard to just get up and do the things we know are good for us?  Everyone knows how great exercise is for your body, your mind, and even your spirit. I always feel great after I exercise, yet there I sat immobilized this morning looking for an excuse to leave. Anything to avoid running. Why do we do this?

I used to take this struggle as a sign of my laziness until I read an interview with an Olympic runner who said that she had to force herself out the door every morning to run.  That simply amazed me. Even seasoned championship runners face motivation droughts. Every runner I know has hit a wall and heard that nagging voice telling them to stop, slow down, give up…or worse yet, to not even start. So what can we do about it? How can we run faster than that voice in our head?  I can’t offer any tips on how to cut your run time and improve your pace since I currently run a 10 minute mile and my best is only 7:20. But let’s face it, even if I had a magic formula to get my time down to a 5 minute mile, that voice would still be there taunting me. Obviously the change has to be focused on the voice and not the run itself.

I have tried many things to shut that voice up. I have listened to motivating music, sermons, and cadences while running.  I have given myself pep talks and have had my husband yell cadence at me and give me the drill sergeant routine.  I have even used other runners as my motivation and set goals based on their success. All these have worked temporarily. However, I had a breakthrough today while on the treadmill and that is that it basically comes down to do I want to be a runner?  The answer is yes, I want to run. I want to run in spite of that voice in my head. I want to run even though I am afraid of hurting my knees again.  I want to run despite the fact that I know I will never be fast enough to win a race. I want to run because I can and because I love running. So in reality, that voice in my head doesn’t really matter. I have never let discouraging talk from others stop me from moving forward in anything before, so why should I let discouraging talk from myself stop me? I ran a mile on the treadmill today. Not far, I know. But it was a huge first step back for me because from the quarter mile mark that voice was telling me to stop. She was telling me that I needed to go slow and get back into running slowly. I told myself that I would stop at a half mile just to get warmed up before I got on the elliptical. However, after my breakthrough I realized that I could do more. I could outrun that voice. She wanted to stop at a quarter mile so I left her there. But I didn’t stop.

How about you? Did you outrun that voice today?

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. debra Givens wagner says

    Wish I could do it!! I know i need to at least walk! lol

  2. I to am in a rut. I feel unmotivated,almost to the point of saying forget it. But, I know, as do you, that saying forget it isn’t an option. I am motivated by your story and that has given me that much more motivation. Thanks again Janice.

  3. The ones who can hear these voices (or, should I say WANT TO HEAR these voices) are the ones who go on to achieve great heights. They are the people who do put their best foot forward and give everything they try their best shot!
    Luckily for me, I am one of them!
    I need not look for inspiration from outside- the motivation to try to be the best in whatever I do comes from within me.
    Great write-up. 🙂
    Enjoyed reading it.

  4. Your post rings so true to my own story. I create the same pattern you do when it comes to my little voices in my head trying to encourage me one moment then give up the next because of some lame excuse. I hurt my knee about a year ago and still have a hard time talking myself into starting to run again. Thank you for easing my mind that I am not the only one feeling/battling this on a daily basis. Good luck with your journey!


  1. […] get back into running after I developed a knee injury a few years ago and I am pleased to say that I just ran in the 9th Annual Pat’s Run. I have […]

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