I had this really nice post on “Think and Grow Rich” done for this morning and after the disaster of a run this morning, I had to change it… This is my One Mile Rule.

The One Mile Rule says to go at least one mile, if things are still falling apart and something just “isn’t right”, it’s time to be done. Today was that day. I don’t like to quit, in fact I refuse to quit. However, when I foresee a bigger problem coming in the future, I don’t want my short term stubbornness get the best of me.

I kicked ass yesterday, 11 miles at a super awesome pace and then crushed my CrossFit workout. During the workout I felt some soreness in my knee and just kept going. I stretched and felt fine after but the soreness continue and increased throughout the day. I tried to talk myself out of running this morning all day yesterday. The struggle continued into my 3:15 am alarm clock this morning. I didn’t want to but I got up, drank my cup of coffee, ate my long run banana and peanut butter and got dressed. I was out the door a little late but no problem, still plenty of time to take care of my 18 miles.

What a beautiful morning for a run! No wind, a nice 36 degrees and no one around. I was about 2 blocks in before my knee started to hurt again. I told myself its fine and to just keep going, it’ll work itself out. I didn’t get up this morning to quit, I got up to put in my miles. A half mile in I was done. I knew this wasn’t going to go well. I have an off day tomorrow to help heal and recover and there is no sense risking long term injury to push through the kind of soreness and pain I have…

Why the One Mile Rule?

It is a reason to get out of bed. If I can just talk myself out of the comfort of my bed, everything else seems to work itself out. The first step is always the hardest, the more steps I take, and the easier it is to keep going.

Some people believe “the first mile is a liar”. I kindly disagree. The first mile will tell me pretty much everything I need to know about the run. Soreness, strength, tightness, etc. all either works itself out or gets worse the first mile. Rarely have I had a run get better after the first mile. By the end of mile one, I know what to prepare myself for the rest of the way. This has helped my build on some tough runs.

There’s a big difference between making smart decisions, quitting and just finding an excuse not to run. This is why I employ the 10X Rule and work so hard to get ahead of schedule. Before today, I was 3 weeks/3 miles ahead of my plan. Last night when I was trying to justify taking today off, I thought of this several times. I didn’t see it as quitting, I saw it as an excuse. The old “it’s ok just this one time” excuse… I employ the One Mile Rule for this reason. I woke up, went through my routine and it didn’t work out. Now I know. Now I can say I tried and failed instead of beating myself up all day that I slept in or just gave up. I’d much rather fail than not try at all.

Employing the One Mile Rule also keeps me in my routine. I set my alarm for the same time every single day. It doesn’t matter whether I am scheduled to run or workout or rest/recover. I have found that just one day of changing my routine can throw me off as long as 3 weeks! To me, the “extra sleep” isn’t worth screwing up my routine. By forcing myself to get out of bed, I stay in my routine and even if I only get the mile, I have a better chance of success next time.

A couple days off to rest and recover should put me right back on track for next week. I’m disappointed this has broken my 35+ day streak of hitting my daily goal… But as much as I’m bummed about it, I would much rather take the time off now so I can fully recover and hit the training hard again rather than fight the pain for the next 4 to 5 months… Hopefully the One Mile Rule can help you Out Run Your Excuses and move forward toward you goals!

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

Join the Conversation


  1. I was looking forward to the Think and Grow Rich post, but I’ve got no problem waiting another few days for it.

    You made the right decision to cut the run short my friend. Could you have pushed through the pain if you needed to? I’m sure you could have. But it would have cost you much more than 17 miles down the road.

    Hope you’re feeling better ASAP!


  2. Gary, I’m behind on reading, but I was looking forward to seeing what was up after your IG post. Sorry, you were not feeling “quite right” after setting out there. Your 1 mile rule is smart, and it is smart that you paid attention! Listening to your body early is key before it gets late in the game, and you can still fix yourself. I have no doubt you will be fine! Now for me, I know exactly how my run’s going to go, after 2 miles! Ha. Take care and keep up the great work.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: