I love running. I love long runs, group runs, trail runs, and yes, even road runs.

And if you’re reading this post, it’s pretty safe to assume you do too.

We runners are a dedicated bunch. Our go-to activity is something most of the world avoids at all cost. I mean come on, we all have that uncle who loves sharing that he, “only runs when being chased!”

We know Uncle Andrew. We know.

But if I’m being real with myself (and you), then I have to admit that I don’t love everything about running.

And I’m sure you don’t either.

All of us have that one workout, technique, or thing we know we really should do to get stronger or faster, but we avoid it like the plague.

Maybe it’s a,

It could be anything, really.

A few weeks ago, while out mowing the lawn, I got to thinking about the part of running I hate the most — half and full mile repeats. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve set speed goals for myself and written specific workouts into a plan, only to skip right over them when the day came.

Sure, I may find a boost of motivation now and then to log several laps around a track, but that drive fades in about as much time as it takes Bolt to run 100 meters.

Somewhere around halfway through the back yard, it occurred to me that if I could just focus on this one area of my training — the area of training I HATE — on a regular basis in just a minor way, I’d probably be a much better runner for it.

And maybe, just maybe, I’d learn to not hate it anymore. Maybe I could reframe the thing I hate most about running and turn it into a strength.

And that, you beautiful Pack members, is exactly what we’re going to do over the coming weeks.

What Do You Hate Most About Running?

I know there’s something, and there’s no shame in admitting it.

Go ahead, leave a comment on this post or share it with me on social (Facebook, Twitter).

What do you hate most about running?

Next week, after reading through your responses, I’ll pick the three most popular answers and put together a 6-week training program for each.

The programs will be simple, fun, and ease into whatever dreaded training task it may be.

All with the goal of reframing the thing you hate, and making it something great.

Actually, that’s pretty good… Let’s turn this thing into a hashtagged movement!


Are you with me? Let me know your answer, and hashtag it #hatetogreat when you do.


Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

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13 thoughts on “Reframing the Thing You Hate About Running

  1. Getting out the door. It doesn’t matter if I’m running 2 miles or 26.2, I still dread lacing up and leaving. Of course, once I’m running I love it.

  2. I love trail running. I don’t mind road running, under the right circumstances…but coming into the dreary winter months when dark trail running isn’t really an option before or after work for me, I really dislike running around my boring neighborhood streets in the chilly, zero dark thirty mornings. So much so, that if my only option for running on a day is at 5am in the dark in my ‘hood, I won’t do it. In the winter, it’s kind of my only option, so then I just stop running…which makes getting back into spring training a LOT harder than it needs to be :-/.

  3. Running has been supplemental to rowing for me, but I’ve stopped rowing now and am trying to get into running as my primary sport and I just can’t get myself to do the speed. I only ever seem to do long runs cause I know I can finish them and I know what my pace will be. Running faster is the worst, even if it’s for minute long intervals. Something in my brain downshifts and I go back to a steady pace. I like the feeling of being faster and stronger but in running I never actually feel that way I just feel like crap.

  4. Core work and yoga/stretching … I know I should do both and it would help me improve but never put in the time.

  5. Strength training – plain and simple. I know I should do it, I know why I should do it, I just don’t do it.

  6. Interval training will always be the boss enemy for me. I’ll happily run in my comfort zone for hours, but dread every workout that asks for higher intensity runs.

  7. I hate boring strength reps. Counting to 12-14 is the WORST! Give me a strength class with music and motivating instructors any day but that doesn’t always work into a busy schedule.

  8. I am too new to running to know what I hate yet except that it all hurt!. Running downhill I guess. That hurts the most so I guess I need some downhill technique. I will look at all the programs with interest.

  9. I’m satisfied being a non-competitive mid-packer. Saying that, I have no pressure to follow strict training programs or protocols……just get out and run safely. If I feel like doing sprints one day to work fast-twist muscles, I will. Progressions, fartlek, tempo, whatever…..I do what my body feels like doing, not what some training plan says I ‘should do’.

    I run as a means of escape — a form of therapy to ease the normal stress and grinding away that every day brings. I refuse to allow my running to add to those problems.

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