18 Unspoken Fears Of Runners And How You Can Get Past Them.
After nearly shitting myself on Thursday I had a much better run today where I covered 13.85 miles in 2:14:00.
Today’s post covers 18 unspoken fears of runners and how you can overcome them!
- The next will suck a lot after a long break from running – So you’ve stopped running for a while, gained 10lbs+ and the nearest you’ve come to exercise is masturbating in a drunken haze to your Golden Girls boxset. Never worry. If you start back now with lower expectations then you could build up from here. You don’t have to lose any more fitness. It’s never too late to get back where you were.
- Never being comfortable running a certain distance – In recent years I’ve always struggled past the 10 mile mark in runs. The only solution for me in the end was to run 10 miles more regularly albeit at a slower pace. I’ve been doing this now for 3 months and my confidence has grown past this mark. The key is to go slower until you can run that distance comfortably, then add in the speed.
- Getting hit by a car or a bus – Even though I’ve been running consistently now for 2 and a half years, I’m still scared of getting hit by a car. The only thing that you can do is to be careful out there. Wear luminous clothing. Never assume that a car will just stop for you. Always cross behind a car (provided there are no other vehicles behind it). Don’t gamble when crossing the road, if you get hit once then you could be out for a very long time.
- Shitting yourself during a run – Drink lots of coffee or energy drinks 3-4 hours before running and get it all out of your system before you start out. If you think there’s even the vaguest chance of a bowel movement happening before you set out, delay your run and make shit happen.
- Looking like a mess in post race photographs – Even if you’re as hot as hell in every day life, the camera man will find a way to capture you as you’re having a mini meltdown. Never fear. Very few runners look good whilst racing. I look like a doughy high-school waitress with a bun up her muff when I’m on the move.
- Being assaulted – Worrying about assault on the run is natural, but useless. I’d let this fear plague my mind and it would stop me from going out on runs. Nowadays I let the fear of assault fuel my speed work. “So you really wanna catch me then? Suck on my 8 minute miles, you whore!”
- Running out of races to run – My biggest fear is running some of the biggest marathons in the world like the London and New York Marathons and then thinking “I’ve seen it all now. There’s nothing left to do”. I’m inspired though by Mr Bart Yasso who has seen it all and still loves running. So I’m happy to follow his lead when it comes to enthusiasm.
- Never recording another personal best – The time will come when we are no longer able to record personal bests. But that doesn’t have to be now. With a little dedication you will prove yourself wrong and outdo what you thought possible.
- Getting too old to run – The time will come when we are all too old to run so the only option is to get out there whilst we still can run!
- Being made fun of outside – People will laugh at you. It’s a given. Those who do often lead empty lives and they should be the ones who are pitied. If you let detractors discourage you from running then they’ve succeeded and you’ve lost. Keep with it!
- Tripping over objects / falling / slipping – I guess I was lucky in that I got over this fear quickly by slipping on ice on my 2nd run. After picking myself up from that incident, I haven’t had the misfortune of tripping since. Although there was an incident where I ran into an old man and felt his head like he was a lamp post.
- Nipple chaffing – You’ve no doubt seen the image series called “20 Reasons to Never Run A Marathon” with graphic depictions of bleeding nipples. It would be enough to put anyone off running. You can avoid this shit by applying Bodyglide, Vaseline or Sudocreme on your affected parts before each run. If you do this then you’ll never experience this embarrassment.
- Never progressing past being a beginner – In 2012 I made little to no progress and at times I thought that I’d never progress in terms of distance or speed. I still have moments where I think I’m doomed to be slow but this is bullshit. By doing hill training and speed runs I can move on from where I am and get past this.
- Faster runners – Even the fastest runners worry about this. Don’t worry about those who are faster you or envy them, instead ask them for advice.
- Hills – Do not fear the hills (unless the hills you are running into are inhabited by feral coyotes). Hill running is an amazing way to make running easier on flat. If you’re lazy like me and you want to make the sport as easy and fun as possible, then a bit of the hill training will take you a long way.
- The wall in a marathon race – If you’re training for your first marathon then doubt you’ll have heard of the wall phenomenon. The best way to prepare for the wall is train past 18 miles in your schedule AND have a coping strategy in place just in case the worst comes to the worst. My coping strategy involves thinking about the worst possible outcome at mile 20 (which is a DNF). Then I assert in my mind that this won’t happen and instead focus on walking the rest of the marathon and throwing in short runs throughout the last 10k.
- The dreaded DNF – I’ve only had one “Did Not Finish” so far and that was in the Great North Run 2012. I lost my chip at the starting line and officially didn’t finish the race even though I ran the 13.1 miles and got my medal. Before this I couldn’t understand why people would run races and allow themselves to record a DNF. When it comes down to it though I think it’s better to try and DNF than to not try at all. Just give your training your all and don’t let a non-finish even be a possibility.
- Dying in a race – We could die at any minute. There is little point in fearing what is ultimately inevitable in our lives. It’s better to go down in life when you’re making positive steps forward, rather than bowing out when you’re standing still.