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6355 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2012 8:28 AM by raf66
doublea987 Rookie 2 posts since
Jan 3, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 3, 2012 10:23 PM

How to STOP needing to run every day?

Hi everyone -


I'm new here, hello .  This is maybe an odd question to ask here, since you guys seem generally pro-running, haha.


Anyway, for the past 7 years or so I've been running every day (except 1-4 times / year when health or other things got in the way).  I run every morning - just for 20-25 minutes, at around 6.5 - 7mph. Usually on a treadmill, sometimes outside.


Why do I run every day? If I don't run on a certain day:

  • I feel really cranky and depressed, everything has a negative edge to it
  • I have trouble sleeping that night
  • My legs feel worked up, like I want to use them (If I got aerobic exercise other ways I think my legs would still feel worked up)


It's nice to burn the calories and boost my metabolism, but it's annoying to have to run every day!


My question is: Is there a way for me to stop running - or maybe just run a couple days a week - but not experience the bad symptoms I described above? Now if I try to stop for even a day, I get the symptoms.  Maybe there's a drug I can take?  A program to tone it down over time?  Any ideas?


I'm a 25-yr-old, healthy male.



  • ydiez Pro 161 posts since
    Nov 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 4, 2012 12:02 AM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    Have you considered other sports?


    I go swimming from time to time and it takes some of the "need" to run. Maybe you can start by running some days and swimming some others (which, by the way, is less aggressive for your legs and ankles) so that you don't "have to" run every day. Once you have achieved this maybe you can start introducing rest days too.

    Current PB:

    5k: 19:53 (December 31st 2014)

    10k : 42:30 (March 9th 2014)

    Half Marathon: 1:32:40 (February 1st 2015)

    Marathon: 3:33:31 (March 15th 2015)

    Completed my first marathon! Feeling like getting some more!

  • skypilot77 Legend 1,077 posts since
    Dec 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 4, 2012 6:07 AM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    I'm not taking this as a serious question: Is there a "drug" you can take to stop you from running? Really!?


    "It's annoying to run every day" ?


    If it is so "annoying" --- simply stop.Stop adding to your stress.


    You're "depressed" if you do not run.? Since you say you do run 1-4 days in a given year -- that means a potential of 4 depressed days a year -- that is not bad. You can probably afford a few more and join the rest of us who have normal fluctuation of emotions.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 4, 2012 4:33 PM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    I agree with the suggestions to look into cross-training solutions.  There are several variations of gym machines that would give your legs a solid workout so that they should not feel restless.  Maybe you are simply bored with the regular routine of 20-25 minutes per day because it is no longer challenging.  If that is a possibility, then try setting new time or distance goals to see if that inspires you to want to run everyday as opposed to seeing it as a chore of some sort.  Also, take some time to reflect on why you started running back in 2005 and see if that orginal motivation can be utilized as encouragement to move on to the next level in your training. 

    Hope this helps and best wishes

  • nowirun4fun Legend 208 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 4, 2012 5:47 PM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    Here's a suggestion about as off the wall as your question.


    Quit taking it so easy on yourself.  20-25 minutes a day?  Work it up to 50-60 minutes a day and get yourself into some real performance based running.  7mph?  Shoot for 8.  Start setting some racing goals for 2012, and working through the disappointment of missing them.  Start really pushing your limits.


    Worst case, you'll experience what I go through.  Periodic injuries, depression from not being able to make my goals, which one might argue is a bit more normal reason to get down about, and the injury will force you to stop.


    Just saying, something to think about.

  • de12t Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 4, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 6, 2012 7:56 AM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    Felt the need to reply to this after reading the responses. Sounds like you have restless leg syndrome, something worth talking to your doctor about. You can look it up as well, the Mayo clinic is a good resource: go to diseases and disorders A - Z and look up "restless leg syndrome". It can feel quite uncomfortable, cause pain and some people are unable to sleep at night because of it. Exercise is often recommended as a way to cope. Also, despite what other people wrote there are medications to treat it, but often activity is encouraged as a healthier option. I work in mental health and see a fair amount of this related to side effects from other medications, but many people have it who aren't on meds. I have a girlfriend who can't go more than a day without exercise or she can't sleep because of it. And you were right, this was not the best forum to ask runners how to run less

  • Jessamin07 Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 6, 2012 10:58 PM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?



    I had to reply! There's nothing wrong with you, and it while RLS may be possible, it's unlikely. Your body is used to that level of activity. Maybe you have kids or dogs? When they don't expel their energy they're hyped up at the end of the day. If you want to run less, run progressively less. Your body will adjust, as will your emotions. Endorphins don't often kick in full effect with only 20-25 minutes of running - that's typically the bonus long-distance runners are talking about with their "running high," and is actually a safety mechanism. However, just 20 minutes or so of cardio does help with digestion and your overall mood for a variety of reasons.


    Long story short... Just like people who never exercise have to go through the aches and pains of getting used to daily activity, you'll have to go through the aches and pains of decreasing activity. I do really like a previous suggestion though - to run longer, less frequently. Also, if you're body is not accustomed to a schedule of running, it won't notice the loss as acutely... A person who only drinks coffee once in awhile doesn't have caffeine headaches after a day with no coffee.


    Best of luck!

  • jmsab23 Legend 243 posts since
    Aug 19, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 7, 2012 7:29 AM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    I am no food expert. However........maybe a different diet on days before you want to skip a run? Try eating something that your body won't respond to in a pleasant way. I don't mean something that'll make yousick, but maybe something that'll slow you down a bit. How about more turkey, for example? The triptofan, or whatever it is, supposedly makes you feel tired.

    I really don't know about wanting to stop running, but I like nowirun4fun's response.   Push it and give yourself some goals. Maybe you've reached a comfort zone with what you're doing now, but trying longer and/or tougher runs (time-wise) will tire you out a little more. Mix up your training. Run some speed workouts, or fartleks, or long runs, intervals, etc. Some of these trainings TELL me to take the next day off. And I'm comfortable with that.

    Good luck.

  • jr becker Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jan 8, 2012 12:13 PM (in response to doublea987)
    How to STOP needing to run every day?

    I went through a similar period a few yrs back. You have to acknowledge that in addition to the reasons you cite making it "necessary" for you to run as regularly and frequently as you do, there may be a negative compulsion or obsession lurking somewhere below the reasons you cite.


    I recognized that my log entries were pushing me to run as much and as frequently and stopped logging my workouts for a period, started cross training and now run 3-4 time a week and lift or bike the other one or two based on my energy level.


    I, too, sleep best after running but find that an hour in the gym followed by sauna and whirpool also does the trick. I am a lifelong depressive and accept that to manage that issue requires regular strenuous workouts.


    The leg issue sounds like a seperate issue I would have checked out by your dr. with a referral to a specialist to rule out "restless leg".



  • raf66 Expert 49 posts since
    Jan 15, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jan 19, 2012 8:28 AM (in response to doublea987)
    Re: How to STOP needing to run every day?

    I agree with nowirun4fun (excellent screen name for this topic, don't you think?!), increase the amount of time you run during your running days.  Instead of 20-25 minutes, run 45-60 minutes.  Also, don't run every single run at the same speed. Add in some longer, slower runs.  It seems that I'm just starting to warm up in the first 20 minutes (maybe because I'm old). 


    I agree to a certain extent about running becoming a nice, healthy habit that's hard to break, and I too don't feel as good on off days.  However, HAVING to run EVERY day for your mental and physical health sounds less like a healthy habit/outlet and more like an unhealthy obsession.  I'm not a psychologist/psychiatrist (and I don't play one on tv), so I'm saying this a bit tongue and cheek.  This site is probably filled with a bunch of people who run every day, and I'm not trying to disparage anyone who does that and ENJOYS it.  However, you don't sound like you enjoy it so much as you feel compelled to do it.  That's probably not healthy.  Ok, I'm off my Freudian soapbox now. 

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