How to Avoid Stopping During Your Runs

6 Tips for Continuing Your Run

If you're trying to build up a continuous running habit or you're hoping to run continuously in an upcoming race, you really need to try to limit your stops during your runs. With some pre-run planning, it's possible to eliminate many of the various reasons why you might need to pause while running. Here are some simple tips to try:

1
Watch what you eat before your run.

Peanut Butter on Toast
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Many runners have learned this lesson the hard way, but certain foods, such as high-fat or high-fiber foods, can trigger runner's trot. To avoid this uncomfortable and embarrassing issue, find out the best and worst pre-run foods.

2
Stop drinking an hour before you start running.

If you keep drinking water right up until you start running, you'll most likely need to stop at a restroom to get rid of excess fluids. Stop drinking at least an hour before your run. You can have about 6 to 8 ounces of fluid right before you start to make sure you're hydrated when you begin.

3
Check yourself before you go.

Runner with phone
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This may seem like common sense, but ask yourself, Do I have to go to the bathroom? Are my running shoes tied properly? Am I wearing those annoying socks that I have to keep stopping to pull up every few minutes? Is my phone secure in my arm band? Sometimes we start running without much pre-planning and then realize that we forgot something. A quick check before you start running can prevent stopping later.

4
Avoid red lights.

One of my running pet peeves is having to wait at a traffic light during a run. It never fails that the light turns red right when I'm really feeling good and hitting my stride!  If you're like me and not a fan of jogging in place, try to avoid running routes with traffic lights by sticking to parks, paths, or even non-busy sideroads.

5
Run at a conversational pace.

Four men and women running in park
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Some runners, especially beginners, have to stop during runs and take a break because they're running too fast. Try to keep your pace under control and you'll find that you can go a lot longer without stopping. Run at a "conversational pace", which means that you should be able to talk in complete sentences as you’re running. If you find yourself getting out of breath, slow it down. You can work on improving your speed during shorter interval workouts, when you have a set time or distance for your recovery.

6
Carry a water bottle.

runner with water bottle
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If you're running more than 30 minutes, it's helpful to carry a water bottle or another fluid carrier so you don't have to stop to buy water or drink from a water fountain. Even though you'll have to refill your bottle during a really long run, you still won't have to make as many stops.

More: Hydration and Running

7
Prevent side stitches.

runner with side stitch
Jan-Otto/Getty

Some runners need to stop in the middle of their runs because they're suffering from annoying side stitches, or cramps in the abdominal area, usually under the rib cage. Make sure that you warm-up properly and work on deep belly breathing to avoid that problem. Learn more about preventing and treating side stitches.

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