5 Times It Is Okay To Stop Mid-Run And Head Home

While you should train yourself to be mentally tough, there are times you shouldn't push just because you think it may make you a quitter.

resting runner

There are situations when you actually should quit your run and go back home. Powering through when you really should stop running, doesn’t always show mental toughness. While mental toughness is an important aspect of training, knowing when to call it quits is just as important. Here are five scenarios when you shouldn’t push through to the end of your run.

You feel bad for multiple days in a row.

It’s normal to have bad days—even a day or two in a row. However, if you have several bad days in a row, it could be indicative of being over-trained. Overtraining is the result of too much stress on the body and not enough recovery. Therefore, if you experience this, it’s best to head home and rest up for a few days.

Your heart rate is too high/low.

If you train with a heart rate monitor and have established a normal heart rate pattern, if you notice that your heart rate is substantially above or below the norm for a particular intensity, it could be indicative that you are not recovered and would be better off on the couch than on the road.

You feel burned out and mentally exhausted.

While pushing through a tough run is normal and necessary to reach your goals, if you’re totally not into a run and each mile feels like a marathon, often it’s best to stop. Continuing to push through a tough mental run can lead to mental ‘burnout,’ which can have long lasting consequences.

It’s too hot/cold.

At the end of the day, your safety is the most important thing. Running in excessive heat and cold can result in heat stroke or hypothermia, respectively—both life threatening conditions. While wearing the proper clothing and staying hydrated are important, the most important thing is to listen to your body and know when to call it a day.


Whether you’re coming back from an injury or you feel a muscle ‘pull’ during a run, if the pain doesn’t go away or gets worse, it’s time to head home. Continuing to run in pain typically only makes things worse, and likely makes a small issue a larger one.