Why Do I Feel Guilty When I Don't Run?

You wake up, trying to roll out of bed, maybe you’re sore, you’re tired. Uhg, you just don’t -- you don’t feel like running but then it starts to creep up on you. Right? That guilt, that guilt that you’re thinking about not running.

You wake up, trying to roll out of bed, maybe you’re sore, you’re tired. Uhg, you just don’t -- you don’t feel like running but then it starts to creep up on you. Right? That guilt, that guilt that you’re thinking about not running. How could you possibly think about not running? Well, I’m Jesse Funk, and on today’s episode of fireside, we’re going to talk about why you feel that guilt when you don’t go run.

If you haven’t been with me on the channel before, hit that subscribe button, stick around with me for more episodes of Runner’s High. As I said, I’m Jesse Funk. This show is Runner’s High, we talking about everything from runners -- running. And also on the channel, in case you’re interested, I interview people on the Smart Athlete Podcast. These are interdisciplinary athletes, doing all kinds of amazing things, so you want to check those out here on the channel. As always, hit that subscribe button, and stick around with me.

Now, when we’re talking about guilt, and not running, I am guilty of being through this for years. I mean, probably even decades at this point, closing in on 20 years of competitive running. It is something that binds you to those workouts. And it happens for a number of reasons. You see, psychology is one of my big things, I didn’t get an undergrad degree in psychology for no reason, at least one of my two majors.

And the things that happen inside of our brains are fascinating to me, and I’ve talked to people about this, I’ve been through this. And one of the things, one of the healthy things is accountability. This guilt when we have a partner or a team, in my case for a number of years, that says, hey, we’re all going out to do this thing, and then you don’t show up. You have an accountability to them and you feel guilty. And I think that’s okay because there is a part of you that needs to show up and be a part of the team or the partnership that you’ve signed up for.

There’s a healthy guilt in that. There’s a healthy guilt in thinking, hey, I tried to commit to being healthier this year, to losing weight, to running a marathon, whatever it is that your goal is. And you have this internal locus of control that’s you believe you have control over the things in your life versus an external locus of control versus people who believe that externalities affect them, and they have nothing that they can do about it.

We do the internal locus of control and you think, hey, I committed to this thing, I’m accountable to myself. I think that guilt is okay. The problem is, it can get out of control. Again, I’ll be the first one to say I am guilty of these things, and I’ve been through them. So, if this is what you’re going through, I completely understand. I’m with you, I sympathize, and I’m trying to help you from the other side. But that guilt can get out of control.

If you start to miss things you should be at if you’re assuing friendships, if you’re assuing family relationships, because you need to run, well, then you may have a problem. Because whether you’re fast or not, if you have supportive friends, if you have supportive family, I guarantee they’re simply not going to care if you know, did or didn’t hit that new PR, they’re still going to be your friends and family.

And I spent a number of years where I was going to go run no matter what. Now it didn’t really get in the way. I made sure to, say on Christmas, still going out for my long run on Christmas, or whatever the workout is for that day. And I would do it in the morning before it was time to do anything. But if something got in the way, well, that sucks. It’s time to go run. Obviously, this depends on where you are.

Now if you’re a professional runner, and you need to go get your workout in, but by all means, like that’s your profession. And thanks for joining me here on the channel. You could probably tell me a thing or two about guilt and running if you’re a professional runner. But if you are past college, you’re not a professional runner, you’re doing this kind of recreationally, then I would encourage you to relax a little bit. You know, find some time to let that guilt subside if it’s getting in the way of the rest of your life.

Love him or hate him, Dr. Drew, who is an addiction specialist talks about addiction in the sense of it’s a repeated behavior that has negative consequences and you continue to pursue that pain behavior despite those negative consequences. So, when that guilt pushes you into running to do things like going out for a run, or working out, that has negative consequences, meaning you miss work, or you miss family things, or any of those kinds of situations, and they have negative consequences, you lose your job, your family starts to be distant from you. You’re losing friendships, then that’s a problem.

I don’t know that many of us will go through those. But I think it’s important to make sure that we’re not toeing over that line. Because when you become obsessed with it, and because there is a positive chemical effect in our brain from running, that runner’s high, that is the name of this show that we kinda chase after, there’s the ability to get lost in it. To say, more miles, more miles, more miles.

It is a love and hate relationship. It can be an excellent thing. And a lot of people have kind of found themselves in running, and it becomes part of your identity. But that’s part of the run, is that you feel like it’s part of your identity, it’s who you are. And if you don’t do it, then who am I? Who am I if I don’t run? Am I nobody? Am I not important? The thing is you have to find a place of self-worth, that’s beyond running. And that took me a number of years to do, I think I’m still probably working on it. It’s tough, but you have to know that you’re worth more than your times or your speed, or your PRs, or the medals or the finishing, you’re worth more than that.

So, if you’re guilty because you don’t think you’re worth anything, because you’re worthless if you’re not a good runner, then I’ll flat out tell you you’re wrong. You are worth something. You’re a human being, you have unique things to provide to this world, to add to our culture, to your family, to your friends, to the things that we all do to contribute to our society, you have unique things to add. And running, though I love it, clearly I’m here making all these videos for you, it’s not the only thing that you have to contribute. And that is not where your self-worth should come from.

So, that’s my diatribe. That’s my rant. I hope you find yourself in a healthy place with running. If you don’t, maybe take some time, maybe take a week off, live with that guilt, take a week off. Think about it. Think about what you’re grateful for, think about why you are worth something other than based on your times. Now if you’re just guilty because your buddy wanted you to go out for a run, and you didn’t do it then you’re probably okay.

But I’d love for you to share your story down in the comments below. I’d like to foster a sense of community here with this show, Runner’s High, and leaving the comments below is one way to do it. Share your thoughts with other people, share your story. Why are you guilty? What have you been struggling with? And most importantly, something I think is great for you to share with everybody; where do you think your self-worth comes from? And it has nothing to do with running. So, I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.


Google Pay Mastercard PayPal Shop Pay SOFORT Visa