Why Running is So Hard (But Worth It): 5 Reasons + How to Push Through

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Running is a physical activity that can be both exhilarating and rewarding. However, many individuals find it challenging and wonder why it can be so difficult. In this article, we will explore the reasons why running is hard and why you should push on despite the difficulties.

1. The Mental Battle

One of the main reasons running can be challenging is the mental battle that accompanies it. When you first start running, your mind may resist the idea of pushing your body to its limits. It takes mental strength and determination to overcome this initial resistance and keep going. However, as you continue to run, your mental fortitude will improve, and you will find it easier to push through the mental hurdles.

2. The Physical Demands

Running is a physically demanding activity that pushes your body to its limits. It requires a combination of cardiovascular endurance, strength, and agility. When you run, your heart rate increases, and your muscles work harder, causing fatigue and discomfort. It takes time and consistent training to build the physical strength and endurance necessary to overcome these demands.

3. Stamina and Endurance

Building stamina and endurance is crucial for overcoming the challenges of running. Stamina refers to the ability to sustain prolonged physical activity, while endurance is the ability to resist fatigue. Both stamina and endurance are developed through regular training and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your runs. It takes time to build these qualities, but they are essential for making running feel easier and less challenging.

4. Muscles under Pressure

Running puts a significant strain on your muscles, especially in your legs and core. The repetitive impact of each stride can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. Additionally, running on uneven surfaces or uphill adds further stress to your muscles. To overcome this challenge, it is important to incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to strengthen the muscles used in running and prevent injuries.

5. Dealing with Discomfort

Running, especially when pushing your limits, can be uncomfortable. You may experience shortness of breath, muscle aches, and fatigue. Learning to embrace these tough moments and push through them is essential for progress. It is important to listen to your body and differentiate between discomfort and pain. Discomfort is a natural part of running, but pain may indicate an injury that requires rest and recovery.

The Rewards of Perseverance

Despite the challenges, pushing through and continuing your running journey brings numerous rewards. Here are a few reasons why you should keep going:

  1. Improved Physical Fitness: Running regularly improves cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Mental Well-being: Running releases endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones, and can enhance mood and reduce stress.
  3. Achieving Goals: Setting and achieving running goals, such as completing a race or improving your pace, brings a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-confidence.
  4. Connection with Nature: Running outdoors allows you to connect with nature, enjoy fresh air, and experience the beauty of your surroundings.
  5. Community and Socialization: Joining running groups or participating in races can provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and build a supportive community.

In conclusion, running is challenging due to the mental and physical demands it places on your body. However, with perseverance, training, and a positive mindset, you can overcome these challenges and experience the many rewards that running has to offer.


  1. Why do I find running so hard?
    Running can be challenging due to the physical demands it places on your body and the mental battle that accompanies it. It takes time and consistent training to build the necessary stamina and endurance.
  2. How can I overcome the mental hurdles of running?
    Overcoming the mental hurdles of running requires mental strength and determination. Setting achievable goals, using positive self-talk, and finding motivation from within can help overcome these hurdles.
  3. Is running bad for my muscles?
    Running, when done with proper form and technique, is not bad for your muscles. In fact, it can strengthen and tone your leg and core muscles. However, it is important to incorporate strength training exercises to prevent imbalances and injuries.
  4. How can I deal with discomfort while running?
    Embracing discomfort while running requires listening to your body, distinguishing between discomfort and pain, and gradually pushing your limits. Proper warm-up and stretching exercises can also help alleviate discomfort.
  5. How long does it take to build stamina for running?
    The time it takes to build stamina for running varies from person to person. It depends on factors such as current fitness level, training consistency, and individual genetics. With consistent training, improvements in stamina can be seen within a few weeks to a few months.
  6. Can running improve my mental well-being?
    Yes, running can improve mental well-being. It releases endorphins, reduces stress, and can enhance mood. Regular running has also been linked to improved sleep quality and increased self-confidence.
  7. Are there any risks or injuries associated with running?
    Running does carry a risk of injury, especially if proper form and technique are not followed. Common running injuries include shin splints, runner’s knee, and Achilles tendonitis. Gradual progression, rest days, and listening to your body can help minimize the risk of injuries.

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