Have you ever felt that, though your are trying everything, running is getting harder for you?

Well, there can be a lot of reasons for that. However, with a little observation and patience, you can totally turn around the situation for you.

Let’s check Why is Running getting harder for you?

Why is running getting harder?

After training enough also, if you feel that running is getting harder then it could be for the below reason:

1. Overtraining

This is one of the major reasons that running gets harder over time.

But what does overtraining mean anyway?

Overtraining happens when you train more than our body can recover from. This can be to the point where your performance starts declining.


 ❌Signs of overtraining:

  • Altered resting heart rate
  • Always thirsty
  • You’re sore more than 72-hours post workout/running
  • Insomnia
  • Depression or Irritable
  • Lack of immunity
  • Loss of concentration
  • More prone to injury
  • Low level of motivation
  • Low self-confidence
  • Lack of progress

2. Running on empty

Most of the time you will be advised by well-intentioned people to workout on an empty stomach.

Though it may be ok for short workouts, it is absolutely not advisable to do strenuous workouts on empty stomach.


Food is the fuel for your body. When you run, your body burns a lot of fuel. So, if you start off with an empty fuel tank in the first place, how far can that take you

Also, if you are planning to run for longer than 30 min, then it is not safe to run on an empty stomach. You will have to deal with low blood sugar levels afterward.

Have at least a banana or an apple before heading out for running.

3. Low muscle tension

This basically means how contracted your muscles are. The more the contraction the better the performance will be.

However, if the muscle tension is low, they will not contract as much as they should or as quickly.

You end up feeling lethargic and tired.

To avoid this situation, warm up or muscles before you start running. This can be a regular warmup routine or a few sprints before the actual run.

Also, if you take some cold water bath the night before, it will help you to improve the muscle tension.

4. Using the wrong shoes

This is what I’ve been guilty of. Match your shoe to your workout.

If you are going for a long run, don’t use your training shoes.

You will end up hurting yourself badly. Also, your performance will also deteriorate.

5. “You’re not a runner” mindset

Maybe you have not run in your whole life. Maybe you have not worked out also but that doesn’t make you a non-runner

If you harbor this mindset, you will not be able to push through some obvious hurdles that every runner face.

As long as you have capable legs, and functional lungs, you are a runner. Period.

So, get over it and see your-self soar. 

6. Poor Sleep

Sleep helps your body to recover. If you don’t sleep properly, your body will not get a proper chance to recover.

As a result, you will get tired more easily and will not be able to perform at your optimal level.

A minimum of 7 hours of sleep is necessary for your body to function properly.

However, if you suddenly observe that you are having insomnia consult your physician

It could be a probable sign of overtraining.

7. Increasing your mileage too soon

We want to make progress really fast and don’t give any consideration to what our body is capable off.

So we try to increase our mileage too fast. However, our body gives up and we end up having a poor performance.

Even worse, we can end up having the stress fracture and may have to remain on the sidelines for weeks.

If this keeps on repeating, we end up giving up any hope of improvement and quit.

As a rule of thumb, increase your mileage only by 10% every week or still better increase it every other week.

This way you will avoid any kind of stress-related injury.

8. Overstriding

This is a problem mainly with the beginner runners. In our over excitement and trying to accomplish more than we can, we tend to do overstriding.

What is overstriding?

If you try to take bigger steps to cover more ground, it is called overstriding. Doing so will make you exhausted in a couple of mins.

If you repeatedly do so, you will not be able to continue running. This will partly because of lack of motivation and partly because you will have overstrained yourself.

Since you are a beginner, your main focus should be to form a running habit first rather than trying to run as an athlete.

To do so, take baby steps at first. Once you get comfortable with these steps, start focusing on improving your mileage and time.

9. Drinking too much water

Hydration is essential during running. This is especially true if you want to run longer miles.

But for that don’t gulp down bottles of water before you start.

This will make you bloat and you will have to deal with side cramps and discomforts.

Instead, try to have 500 ml of water around 2 hours before your run. If you are an early morning runner, just have a cup of water before your run.

Also, carry a sipper with you so that you can continue to hydrate yourself when on the run.

Trying to get back to running or you have got back to running but not improving? Here are the common mistakes that runners make when running is getting harder.

Trying to get back to running or you have got back to running but not improving? Here are the common mistakes that runners make when running is getting harder.

10. Your mind is giving up

More than your body, your mind gives up first. As with anything in life, in running also, you will face with days when you will hit the wall.

Means, you will not be able to move forward no matter how much you want to.

Relax! Take things easy.

Run at a conversational pace. No matter what don’t quit on such days.

Otherwise, your mind will force you to quit more often, to the point when you stop running completely.

11. Not warming up or cooling down

This is a very big mistake to commit. As was told earlier, your performance depends on how much tension our muscles have.

If you don’t warm up, the muscles will not have proper tension and you will feel lethargic.

Hence make sure that you warm up and cool down properly.

Also, I would suggest that you include some stretching in our cool down routine.

Your muscles are already filled with oxygen. So stretching now will be easier and you will get better toning of your muscles.

12. Not Taking Rest

Many athletes including me, don’t take rest days seriously. We run even on our rest days.

As a result, our body gets overstrained and our performance degrades.

Also, this is one of the primary reasons for having a runner burnout.

So, follow the plan and take as much rest is on the plan.

This way you will avoid getting burned out and injured.

What to do if your mind gives up?

Your mind plays the most important role in your success as a runner.

Studies show that mental fatigue impairs intermittent running performance, causing runners to have a higher rate of perceived exertion (RPE).

However, we can train our brains to have more mental strength. Follow these steps:

1. Think something other than running

Doing so, you are actually diverting your mind from running. Hence, it will not focus anymore on the pains your muscles are feeling.

Also, it will stop thinking about quitting. Simple, yet effective

2. Two more steps

This is a psychological hack that I use in almost everything. Whenever I want to quit, I tell myself, two more steps or two more mins.

You can try something like two more lamp posts or two more blocks.

You get the idea. This way you are telling your mind that the end of the workout is really near and there is no point quitting now.

Most of the time you will end up sticking to your workout for more than 2 mins

3. Just keep going

There will be days when you will feel less than perfect. What will you do?

You can either quit or push through.

If you want to quit, think about it as a race day. Let’s say you enrolled in a race.

On the day of the race, you don’t feel like running. What will you do?

Will, you quit and not run? If not, then today also, you are not going to quit.

Just hang in there today, tomorrow it will be fine. I promise.

4. Enroll in a race

If you have something tangible to look forward to, you will be able to stick to the plan more easily

So, enroll in a race. You will be better at following your plan.

5. Take a different route

Changing things up will keep you motivated. So whenever possible, take a different route or go for a trail run.

Aa change in scenary and envronment will take you ou of your boredom of running

When does running get better?

This is a tough question to answer.

It will depend on the following factors:

  • Your current age
  • Your current fitness level
  • Your weight

If you are in your early 20s or 30s and is considered fit. Then you should be able to adapt in less than 2 weeks.

Otherwise, as a simple calculation, add 1 week for each extra pound you have.


As you can see, there are many reasons why running can become harder. However, mainly you should look out for any signs of overtraining.

If you are unsure about where to start, it’s better that you hire a coach rather than trying to figure out on our own.

But whatever it is, best of luck on your journey.

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

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