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The Negative Impact of Toxic People on Endurance Runners

by | Mar 3, 2023

This article was read 3374 times. Enjoy!

The Negative Impact of Toxic People on Endurance Runners

How Toxic People Can Affect Your Endurance Running Journey

As someone who has been an endurance runner for many years, I have come to realize the importance of surrounding myself with positive and supportive people. The running journey can be challenging and demanding, both physically and mentally, and having a supportive network of people can make all the difference.

However, it’s not just positive people that can impact your running journey. Unfortunately, some toxic people can have a negative impact on your progress and success as an endurance runner. In this post, we will explore the different ways toxic people can affect your endurance running journey and how to deal with them.

The Effects of Negative People on Endurance Runners

Toxic people can have a range of negative effects on endurance runners. Here are some of the most significant:

  • Increased stress levels, which can lead to decreased sleep quality and a weakened immune system.
  • Decreased motivation to train and run, leading to a lack of progress and increased feelings of burnout.
  • Increased risk of injury due to decreased focus and motivation.
  • Decreased confidence and self-esteem, leading to a lack of belief in one’s abilities and potential.

Types of Toxic People

It’s essential to understand the types of toxic people you may encounter in your life to recognize their negative impact on your endurance running performance.

  • The Complainer: This person always sees the negative in everything and complains about everything. They drain your energy and make it challenging to stay motivated.
  • The Drama Queen/King: This person thrives on drama and chaos, and they bring it with them wherever they go. They can create unnecessary stress in your life.
  • The Energy Vampire: This person drains your energy and motivation with their constant negativity and complaining. They can make it difficult to maintain your focus and drive.
  • The Narcissist: This person always makes everything about them and can be extremely draining to be around. They can make it difficult to feel confident in yourself and your abilities.
  • The Jealous Competitor: This person is competitive with you, but not in a positive way. They may try to undermine your accomplishments or belittle your progress.

How to Deal with Toxic People

Dealing with toxic people can be challenging, but it’s crucial to maintaining your mental and physical health, as well as your endurance running performance. Here are some tips for dealing with toxic people:

  1. Set boundaries: It’s essential to set clear boundaries with toxic people and communicate them clearly. Let them know what behaviours are unacceptable, and if they continue, be prepared to distance yourself from them.
  2. Surround yourself with positive influences: Seek out people who support and encourage you. Join a running club, find a mentor, or hire a coach to help keep you motivated and on track.
  3. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Prioritize sleep, eat a healthy diet, and engage in activities that reduce stress, such as yoga or meditation.
  4. Stay focused on your goals: Keep your focus on your goals and aspirations as an endurance runner. Remember why you started running in the first place and stay committed to your training plan. Don’t let the negative influence of others derail your progress and passion for the sport.
  5. Stay positive: Maintain a positive attitude and outlook on life. Don’t let the negativity of others bring you down. Instead, focus on the good in your life and the progress you’ve made in your running journey.
  6. Get professional help: If dealing with toxic people is taking a toll on your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide you with tools and strategies to cope with the stress and negativity you may be experiencing.

How to Identify Toxic People

Identifying toxic people can be challenging, as they may not always be easy to spot. However, there are some common signs that someone may be toxic:

  • They always seem to have drama in their life.
  • They are always negative and complain about everything.
  • They criticize you or others excessively.
  • They are overly competitive and may try to undermine your progress.
  • They never take responsibility for their actions and blame others for their problems.
  • They are manipulative and try to control others.

If you notice any of these signs in someone you know, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with them.


As an endurance runner, it’s crucial to surround yourself with positive influences and avoid toxic people. The negative impact of toxic people on your mental and physical health can have a significant impact on your running performance, leading to decreased motivation, increased stress, and a lack of progress. By setting clear boundaries, practicing self-care, and staying focused on your goals, you can maintain your passion for running and achieve your full potential as a runner.

Patrick Michel

Endurance Runner – Marketing Strategist

Patrick Michel is a Montreal-based endurance runner specializing in long-distance multi-stage charity ultra runs. For almost two decades, he has inspired many to engage in running, get fit and grow stronger physically and mentally. He has also written many articles about running.