Posted by: Dean Hebert | October 15, 2009

Training — Fear on the run, fear of the run

Coach Dean Hebert

Coach Dean Hebert

Coach Dean Hebert joins us this week to handle a couple of reader e-mails. Here is a question that has to do with fear:

I actually fear my evening run several hours before it, and keep getting thoughts that I will fail and won’t complete the distance I intend to…these thoughts keep coming into my head and I get really nervous. I usually run after work, and during the workday I get these thoughts and I get overwhelmed. Also, because of these thoughts in my head, I think I actually wind up sabotaging my runs. Any advice how to deal with this? I need help calming down and enjoying the run…I seem to be getting so worked up that I forget that running is supposed to be fun!

Sharon, you are not alone in this. I have worked with a number of runners in which fear, nerves and panic attacks are common. You are right that it is possible to be sabotaging your runs; then again it could just be concerns blown out of proportion. Here are some other posts that might be helpful.

There are two assumptions I have to make to put my comments into context.
1. You do not suffer from a medical issue (physical or mental).
2. That in fact you do not have a real issue to fear (i.e. physical safety)

Let’s deal with this as completely a running issue and a mental game issue. Fear is an emotion that is meant to protect us. That is, help us move away from something that may be harmful to us. Unfortunately, many things in life we fear are not truly harmful. Start by analyzing your fear; ask yourself: what specifically do you fear (i.e. failure, embarrassment, pain, getting lost on a race course)? Explore this in detail.

To continue reading, click here.

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