Overcoming Running Fears

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With the Lubbock Mayor’s Marathon less than 2 months away, anxiety, fears and stresses may be starting to pop up. This is common for both beginner and experienced runners. The possibility that you didn’t train enough and will not make it through the race is daunting and sometimes overcomes your thoughts.

In order to try and help lessen the stress and fears, here are a few common fears of racing and how to overcome them:

  1. What if I don’t train hard enough? This is a very common fear for any competitive sport. Correct and effective training is the key to performing well. When it comes to training hard enough to run in a race, it is important to create a running plan and stick with it! Planning to run a long distance, like a marathon, it is important to switch back and forth between long-slow runs and short-fast runs. Some weight and cross training is important as well so that you are well-rounded and trained for any possible terrain. Most importantly… be consistent with your training and do not over do it!
  2. There is NO way I can run that far! This is a fear that typically pops up the day of the race…but, it is just not true! If you have been properly training and mentally preparing yourself for this day then you will be ready. One way to look past this fear is to take a few minutes the morning of your race to close your eyes, relax and remember all the training you have been doing. Picture yourself crossing the finish line, mentally preparing yourself and visualizing will ease your fear and anxiety so that you CAN cross that finish line!
  3. I am going to be last! This is a very common fear for new runners. Finishing last is something NO ONE wants to happen, it can be embarrassing. Remember, there are a lot of runners and the chances of you being last are as great as the chances of you being first. If this is your first run, or you’re running a longer distance, being first or last shouldn’t be your main concern. Crossing that finish line and accomplishing your goal is!
  4. What if I get hurt? Though rational, this fear has no ground. “What if” fears can hurt a runner’s confidence and lead to a less than desired performance. When preparing for a race, these “what if” fears should be diminished right away. Just like in everyday life, it is dumb to worry or stress about something that may not happen! Worrying about getting hurt, could lead you to get hurt because it distracts your mind from your training or running. Try your best to keep fears like this out of your head, and if it helps, research how to handle and care for common running injuries. Most importantly… any race you go to will have plenty of first aid stations, EMTs and ER vehicles on site and ready for any possible incident that may occur.

Vironika Tugaleva said, “Fear echoes your self-defined limitations, not your actual ones.” Fears are only an illusion to what we think our limits are, it is up to us to see past the illusion to what you truly can accomplish. Running a race can be a scary and daunting task with many fears tangled with it, so take some time each weak not only to physically prepare yourself for the race, but also to mentally clear your head from these fears.

I hope this has helped. Continue training and keep up the hard work!


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