How to Take a Break from Running without Going Insane

Hello there and Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a good start. Mine is, it’s so nice to have my first full week at home after a long and exhausting semester. So far, I’ve been blissfully lazy and focused on getting lots of sleep. On Friday night, I went to bed around 10:30 and woke up at 10:30 the following morning (the bliss of not setting an alarm!). I guess my body was demanding 12 hours of sleep?!? Seems insane but I went with it. I’ve also been doing Christmas baking (Sally’s sugar cookies are everything), reading, and some Netflix too.

On Monday, I went to the gym and climbed on the spin bike for a self-designed workout. It was a lot of fun for me, and it got me thinking about how I haven’t gone on a run in a really long time. I ran the Richmond Marathon on November 12, and went on a short run with my dad on Thanksgiving Day. Besides that, no other running. It used to be that I would go batty after going awhile without running. Now, not so much.

Here’s how I’ve managed:

Being busy really helps. Being busy is not always ideal, but sometimes it forces you to focus on real priorities. For me, with exams and papers dominating my life for the past few weeks, running just isn’t a priority. Now that all of that is done and I’m a little more removed from running, I can actually assess if I genuinely want to go on a run or if my body is craving some other form of movement, or just wants to rest.

Set a hard and fast rest period from running if/when you need it. Immediately after the marathon, it was relatively easy for me to treat myself well. I was able to feel the soreness in my body and how sleepy I was. It was really easy to not think about doing any sort of workout because I could barely walk at more than a shuffle. However, once as the physical soreness went away, I got a little antsy, thinking about all the fitness I might be losing. It was really hard at first, but I set a hard and fast rule not to run for at least two weeks. After that Thanksgiving jog (like 12 days after the marathon but did it to hang out with my dad 🙂 ), I realized that I didn’t actually want to run. I wanted to pursue other fitness goals. I still absolutely love running, but allowing myself to pursue other goals for my fitness has been so freeing! Movement and exercise should be enjoyable and freeing (at least 90% time, I keep thinking of some of those speed workouts that I didn’t enjoy haha…). If it isn’t, it’s time to rest and reevaluate.


Set a new fitness goal/try something new. One thing that I really missed while marathon training was group fitness classes. I love group fitness classes especially cardio dance/Zumba (any excuse for hip hop and booty popping and I’m in). I went to quite a few cardio dance classes and had SO MUCH FUN. It worked lots of different muscles and also meant a lot of great music and some good company. I can’t say I miss running as much when I’m having so much fun doing other activities.

Set a personal goal. One thing I love to do but rarely seem to have time for is reading. I’m reading a lot more now and it’s another thing that’s making me really happy. Whatever makes you happy that you haven’t been doing or have been wanting to try, do that. Have fun and enjoy a break.


No matter what, remember that running will always be there. You can always go back to it. Remember that it is not something you have to do, it’s something you freely choose to do. Moving our bodies is such a gift and I try to never take that for granted.

Have you ever given up running/some other activity for an extended time? How did you get through it? 

Favorite type of Christmas cookie/Christmas treat?!?



4 thoughts on “How to Take a Break from Running without Going Insane

  1. Lyss says:

    i’ve actually really been wanting to give zumba another shot. i wanna get better at dancing (like in my gymnast days) and it seems like a lot of fun! i wanna try barre too. I love love love my hot yoga, but i think being willing to try new things is crucial!


  2. Emily Swanson says:

    It is SO HARD to take a break from running, but I agree that you need to fill in the time. ❤ Knowing that the gift of running will be there, and that it's okay to do other things is freeing.


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