How to Gut It Out When You Want to Quit During Workouts

The only way to get faster is to complete interval repeats and tempo sessions, but let's be honest: running hard hurts.

Each hard workout is a mental test: Will you stay tough or wimp out? Finding the motivation to gut out a hard workout is exponentially harder when you're not having a good day. But those really crappy days are sometimes the most important workouts or races to get through—or rather, "gut through."

Certainly you never want to push through a workout or race when you feel physical pain, dizziness, experience chest pains, or are suffering from symptoms of heat-related illness (heavy sweating, high body temperature, weakness, elevated pulse, nausea, fainting).

More: 3 Heat-Related Illnesses You Can Avoid

But it's also important that you don't throw in the towel just because you're feeling tired. There will be plenty of days where you're feeling out of the groove, and on these days, it's crucial to remain focused. Even if you're unable to run the splits you hoped, you'll still reap physical benefits, and gutting it out will make you a mentally tougher athlete.

More: Improve Your Run With Mental Toughness Training

Sometimes the workouts to be most proud of aren't the ones that are your fastest, but rather, the ones you pushed through when you felt the worst.

Survive the crappy days, and just think how much better you'll run when your legs do feel that extra bounce.

How do you gut through when you feel like your legs have gone AWOL on you?

Chuck the Watch

If your splits are way off from the get-go, do yourself a favor and just forget about the times. Do your intervals, but run purely off of effort. Your body will still get physiological benefits from the workout, despite the numbers you see on your watch. This gets rid of adding even more stress and frustration from seeing slow splits, and keeps you focused on running hard. Don't give your brain an extra "out" by saying, "The times are slow, so why bother?"

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About the Author

Caitlin Chock

Caitlin Chock set the previous national high school 5K record (15:52.88) in 2004. Now a freelance writer and artist, she writes about all things running, and founded Ezzere, her own line of running shirts. You can read more, see her running comics, and shirts at her website www.CaitChock.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @CaitlinChock.

Caitlin Chock set the previous national high school 5K record (15:52.88) in 2004. Now a freelance writer and artist, she writes about all things running, and founded Ezzere, her own line of running shirts. You can read more, see her running comics, and shirts at her website www.CaitChock.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @CaitlinChock.

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