When a runner gets exhausted during a competition, they might slow down either:

  1. to save energy to keep back going after a short time (intentionally)
  2. or just due to the lack of adequate and required energy. (forcefully.)

I want to be a little creative and compare the first (intentional) case to someone who is running out of steam in doing something which they had started passionately and vigorously.

How shall I give them a lift and boost their energy and ask them to hang in there?

As for an intentional act of lowering speed, I am familiar with two idioms "ease up" and "hit the wall". Let's take a look at them:

Ease up:

  • If you ease up, you start to make less effort.

Hit the wall:

  • To reach a point when you ate running, exercising, playing sports, etc. where you are so physically tired you feel you cannot continue.

You've already tried a lot. Remember all those tough days. Your whole life depends on the result of this test. You need to pass it. Hang in there. You're just a little way off the finish. [Here, finish" means "achievement of goals".] .........

a. Don't ease up
b. Don't hit the wall

Would you be so kind as to let me know which choice works here idiomatically?

I am wide open to other and better suggestions.

  • I'm confused by the intentional/forceful distinction, and I'm finding it difficult to see how it applies to the case of the person and their "life battle". For example, if a runner intentionally slows down at one point in a race, so as to have energy for later, that doesn't seem at all analogous to a person who has lost their mojo. Overall, it's hard to know exactly what you are asking. Could you clarify? Maybe provide a succinct version of your actual question? (And if that's the intention of the quoted section, beginning with Question:, then at least for me it's not doing the job.)
    – tkp
    Mar 29, 2022 at 18:59
  • As a native speaker, neither of these idioms works in your sentence. Maybe try "don't give up"
    – Esther
    Mar 29, 2022 at 19:20
  • Then may I ask you to provide me with any idiomatic idiom/expression in this case @Esther?
    – A-friend
    Mar 29, 2022 at 19:23
  • 1
    I mentioned "Don't give up"(second definition) in my previous comment.
    – Esther
    Mar 29, 2022 at 19:31
  • I have never heard Don't hit the wall. The phrase is strongly associated with running and I don't think it's usage is common enough for it to be considered a universal metaphor. It is likely to be taken literally in many situations. Don't ease up. Don't give up. Don't slack off. There are many options better than hit the wall.
    – EllieK
    Mar 29, 2022 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


"Don't ease up".

There is no point it telling someone not to hit the wall. Nobody chooses to hit the wall. In fact the only way to avoid "hitting the wall" is to ease up before you hit it! There is nothing intentional about "hitting the wall". It happens when your body has run out of fuel and you collapse (it not just about being tired during exercise)

But "hitting the wall" is strongly associated with running. I don't think that it can be used metaphorically.

However "ease up" is intentional. People can choose to ease up, or choose not to. So it makes sense to say "Don't ease up".

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