Posted by: Joe English | September 24, 2010

Marathon Running — Pre-race Anxiety Part 57

running-advice-bugAnother fall is quickly approaching and the questions have started pouring in. They range from mild anxiety to sheer panic. About eight of ten questions that have come into the blog in the few weeks sound very familiar: everything was going fine, but then something happened and now I DON”T KNOW WHAT TO DO! Marathon day is looming and it suddenly feels as if end of the world is quickly approaching.

Calm down runners.

I’ve noticed over the years that the pre-race anxiety, comes in many flavors. The one that we usually write and talk about (we’ve done two videos on the subject) is the panic that comes up in the week before the race. But today I want to look at why we feel so crazy and helpless in the last month or so out from a marathon. I’ll just call this the “I don’t know what the hell I’ve gotten myself into” panic.

Where does this creeping dread come from? It starts with a fear of the unknown. This fear is definitely something first-timers feel, but it isn’t limited to them. Runners that have run many marathons get feeling like this as well. The fear comes from our minds asking a simple question: ‘how did my training go this time?’ Or to put it another way, ‘how’s this race going to go now that I’ve done X in training?’ where X is some new variable that you’ve added into the mix – a faster speed, a new energy product, a tougher race course.

The runner’s mind loves to do somersaults over itself pondering the questions that it is least equipped to answer: how’s the day going to go; how did my training impact me; what more should I have done to prepare? Therein lies the problem. None of us have a crystal ball and none of us can foretell the future.

Or can we?

To continue reading, click here.


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