• Shelby Schmidt

The Mental Blocks of Running

We set out for a run of "X" amount of miles. We get about half way through and call it. Are your legs tired? Are you short on time? Or is your head just not in it? If I'm answering honestly most of the time I mentally just am not into it, my body can keep going but my brain basically says "Peace out!"

I had wrote earlier this week that I've been struggling to hit past 4 miles on my runs.

I've been stuck in a pattern when I have the stroller, 4 miles is the threshold I can't get past. When I'm by myself I find that I have to take walk breaks, can't push further or am just over it. I've tried hiding my watch face so I can't see it, I've tried saying just one more street, and I've even tried bribing myself (I don't listen well lol)



I know that for me it's a mental block. I am letting the imaginary road block stopping me from going further. Running as a whole I always say is more mental that physical. My legs aren't giving up, my mind is. I'm too busy thinking about my daily to do list, my big goals both short term and long term, or what is going "wrong" to just focus on the run. Pair that with the mental fatigue of COVID distancing/quarantining setting in and it's just a whole tornado in my mind right now. Don't get me wrong I am super fortunate to be able to stay home, work from home, and be able to keep my kid home but MAN IT'S STILL EXHAUSTING.


I've tried to give myself grace right now and know that the mental block won't last forever and that I really just need to chip away at it a little bit of a time. It also helps that I know that I'm not the only on experiencing it.



While it's not easy by any means I've tried to focus on all the things that are going right at the moment in regards to my running and base building. I repeat them on my run, throughout the day, and whenever I start to let my mind wander too much :





  • I actually really needed to take a step back from hard training since I did feel burnt out after my half marathon training block

  • Lower mileage has given me the ability to finally incorporate strength training into my routine.

  • I feel stronger than I have and can already notice a difference in my running form and how I am engaging my muscles.

  • I am taking off the pressure that I put on myself to always hit X amount of miles no matter what.


I've had mental blocks and know they won't last forever. All you can do is keep moving and keep going. Be thankful for what you ARE doing and know that it's part of the overall journey.




What do you do to overcome mental blocks? Take a full step back from running? Mix up your routine? Make mini goals? I would love to hear!! Share below, on Instagram or email Info@runningandschmidt.com

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