I Suck at Running

May 11th, 2016 | Posted by Erica House in Fitness

It hit me yesterday as I was struggling to do 400’s – I suck at running. At least I feel like I suck at running. After taking off a few months from running to have a baby and move from Florida to Alaska I’ve started running regularly again. Over the Winter I did the best I could to keep getting miles in on my treadmill at home but I figured once the weather warmed up I’d be pounding the pavement and seeing my old pace times.

Well, that isn’t happening.

I was talking with my Dad about it and told him how frustrated I was getting thinking about how I’ve been running for 4 years now and still struggle to maintain a 10:30 ‘easy’ pace. When I first started running my easy pace was probably 11 something. So, 4 years later and I don’t feel like I’ve improved much.

As I start to meet more people locally and get more involved in the local running scene I’m always excited when I meet another woman who loves to run. Until we start talking about pace times and I find out her ‘easy’ pace is my ‘ugly run sprint while dying’ pace.

So, I got pretty down on myself this week. Until I started thinking about the huge things I have accomplished since becoming a runner.

I’ve run three marathons! They may have been slow (4:44-5:15 each) but I freaking ran three marathons.


Our honeymoon marathon

I’ve placed in my age group at a 5k! Granted, not a single fast person in my age group showed up that day which is the only reason why I placed (I think my finish time was almost 28 minutes) but I still placed.

5k Place

I’ve even been close to running a sub 25 minute 5k (my PR is 25:28.) Yet – I go through times in my running, like now, where I feel like a POS with legs filled with led.

Thankfully, since I’ve been a decent runner in the past, I know exactly how to stop sucking at running now.

how to run faster

Stop comparing myself to other runners.

It doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t make me faster. While it can be motivating at times to see other runners killing it in their training, it can also lead to a spiral of self-doubt when I feel like I’m working just as hard and not seeing results.

Plus, there are other runners out there who’d love to have my pace times so it’s all relative.

Decide on a run goal and train for it.

When I was training for a marathon I ran a lot. Slow, easy, long runs. When I was training to try to sub a 25 min 5k I ran a lot. Quick, interval, fast runs. It’s hard to train for both at once (faster time and farther pace) so I think I’ll focus on speed for a few weeks and evaluate in June what type of distance races I’d like to do later in the year.

Run with others.

As much as I hate being the slowest runner in a group one of the best ways to run faster is to run with people who are faster than you. It might not be easy finding a running partner who wouldn’t mind slowing down a little, or running with someone who can’t talk much because they are trying not to vomit, but I’m sure I can coerce someone into running with me on occasion. I can also check out some of the local group runs put on by the sports shops.

After throwing myself a little pity party yesterday I feel much more optimistic now that I’ve looked at things rationally and see that I’ve been a pretty good runner in the past, and can get there again if I stay consistent and train for it.

What are your current run goals?

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10 Responses

  • dorothy chlup says:

    Ha! I suck at running, too. However, I really don’t think you suck at it – LOL!! Marathons? Nope, don’t suck!

    I feel the same way you, do though…feeling down on myself, and also in a grumpy mood.

    I also feel like I suck at running – difference, I really do suck at it! hahaha…one of my goals this year is to run an entire 5k (and not wog/jog/walk it). Unfortunately, at the same time, I set a goal to work on obtaining a professional certificate. Can you get which one is getting more attention? Well, ALL the attention? The certification course. It’s only May, right?!? Of course life/work blew up and I am just getting back into the coursework swing of things.


    I would like to run with others – I think you’re right on that one. My excuse is time – time to do it all.

    • Erica House says:

      Life is always getting in the way of things! I think you and I could both be badass runners if we were consistent about running!

  • Lisa says:

    I’m a really slow runner- for me a 10:30 pace would be crazy fast. However, I’m an occasional, non competitive runner. My only goals when I’ve run races have been to finish them. I ran the same half marathon three years in a row, and walk-jogged it twice and ran it once, and when I ran it, I was so slow that my time wasn’t much faster than when I’d walk-jogged it. I do other types of exercise and I am 41, so I figure it’s probably good that I switch it up and stay content with being slow so that I don’t get sore hips and feet. I think as long as you’re active and having fun, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are! ?

    • Erica House says:

      Your philosophy is 100% correct! I have to always remind myself if I’m not having fun or enjoying it then I don’t have to do it!

  • Kelly says:

    I consider myself a slower runner.. I think when I started running I was at 11:00m/m and over 2 years was able to shave off a minute or so and could hit some 9’s before getting pregnant. I appreciate that you have accomplished so much (3 marathons WOW!!) and I appreciate that you seem so “normal” to me. Like most of the other running blogs I follow they all run 9 min miles while pregnant and 6-7 min miles when training, and I just can’t relate!! I’m happy for them and jealous of their ability, but that’ll probably never be me. I’ll never be super speedy and that’s okay! I have to set goals attainable for me and that’s why I like seeing your goals and your methods to get there, because I’m more like you then I’ll ever be like any of those girls hitting sub 3 marathon goals..

    All that to say, keep up the good work. And I don’t think you suck at running at all.

    • Erica House says:

      Thank you! I also occasionally read bloggers like Hungry Runner Girl who’s ‘easy’ pace is low 7’s and think I’d actually die before being able to hold that for anything over two miles. I’d love to set some high goals for myself in the next year and (hopefully) meet them to show that us average runners can train to kick some serious butt!

  • I’m definitely not a runner, but I am fit and healthy and do my own thang so that’s all that matters :P I’d love to be able to run a marathon but I don’t know if my body would agree

    • Erica House says:

      I really think that unless someone has injuries that the majority of people could run a marathon if they wanted to! It’s really 80% mental.

  • Heidi says:

    You do not suck at running. You run; therefore you do not suck. :-) Just as someone else’s slow is YOUR fast, remember that YOUR slow is yet another person’s fast!!! It’s all perspective!!!!