Finally, Get Rid of Your Thoughts of Anxiety!
October 23, 2009  |  Mental Training

Racing without thoughts of anxiety is an obstacle that suddenly hits runners in the last week before the race. Runners usually face a level of uncertainty and a little self-doubt on their abilities to run a race. There are few reasons for why this happens and I will share some ways of getting rid of anxiety.

freedom
photo credit: cguille

WHY ME?!?!

When that wierd, uncomfortable feeling hits, it spirals out of control which can really mess with your head.  The common reasons for these feelings are:

  • Self Doubt: When you believe that you aren’t ready to run your marathon or worse, you don’t believe you’re a runner, it can really damage your self image. You honestly have to believe that you are mentally and phsyically prepared to run your race.
  • A Bad Run: If a runner has a bad run near the last couple of days before race day, it can hurt you mentally. The fact is that there are going to be some days where you feel like crap! Forget that day even happened and move on; you’re better than that!
  • Getting Sick: There are runners who get sick during their training. It’s heart breaking to dedicate yourself to train for so long and all of it fall apart because of a cold. It depends on the severity of your sickness and how quick you recover.  This topic is sensitive because it depends on how badly you have fallen into a cold.

There are more reasons that creates a level of anxiety and I would like to hear what you think in the comments section below.

How Do I Get That Boost!

There are a lot of books, audios and videos to get yourself “out of the dumps” and get your mind focused on the task at hand: running the marathon to the best of your ability. Here are methods to cope with thoughts of anxiety:

  • Learn to Meditate: there are a lot of activities that are going on around us everyday that every once in a while, we need a release. To let go of the built up stress, I recommend that you practice yoga. If you have never practiced yoga, you are really missing out because it helps strengthen your muscles while relaxing your body to state that you have never experienced before. If yoga is out of the question, practice deep breathing in a quiet environment and believe me, it helps.
  • Run a Tune Up Race:  a tune up race is a shorter race that prepares you mentally to deal with all the hype and energy of a race. Once you run the tune up, you will feel you have a stronger ability to deal with situations where you would usually lose your cool.
  • Consult Your Inner Circle: I strongly believe in expressing whatever is troubling you, you need to get it out of your system. I like writing in a journal to get my thoughts out and into the open. A better option that a journal is to talk to people who care and understand what you’re facing; this is priceless. Build a network around you where you can bounce questions off one another, deal with issues each person is facing, etc. What you’ll notice that your inner circle’s abilties as runners will increase dramatically.

If you have heard some of these tips before or think that you already “knew that”, ask yourself: how much of it have I actually put in practice? Have you tried yoga? Have you attempted deep breathing?

I had a belief that deep breathing not something I see myself doing but when I tried it, I have to say that it has helped me in situation where I would have struggled.

What’s Next?

Please, please, PLEASE put this into practice.

If you are still struggling to reduce your anxiety, I would recommend that you pick up a book to get a better understanding how to cope with your anxiety. To be truly transparent, I haven’t read these books but I hear positive feedback for these books through forums and their ratings on Amazon:

They couldn’t choose titles that were any longer? ;)

Look Nehal…I’M SCREWED!

If you are seriously having issues, I want you to do one thing: ASK ME!

Please don’t hesitate to talk to me because I’m here to facilitate. You are smarter than you think and I know you have knowledge to solve obstacles that you’re facing. I am here to help you find answers to questions that you already know how to answer. What you can do to get my attention is either leave me comment below OR if it’s private, you can contact me and share what you’re facing.

I Pass The Mic Over to You:

What kind of obstacles are you facing in terms of anxiety or any mental barriers? If you have already faced some obstacles before, how did you deal with them? New runners who are shy to comment will get value out of it! :)

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  • http://dailyrunningtips.com Constantine

    Nehal,
    Thanks for this post.
    Am running Stanchart marathon tomorrow and my stomach is already upside down. Icant believe my fear of getting stomach cramps is happening even before the race starts.
    I hope when I wake up tomorrow I will be feeling fine.
    Cheers

  • Nehal

    Thanks for the comment!

    It’s funny how that happens. I wish you the best of luck Constantine!

  • http://www.runnertalk.net/story/247 Runnertalk.net

    Finally, Get Rid of Your Thoughts of Anxiety!…

    Racing without thoughts of anxiety is an obstacle that suddenly hits runners in the last week before the race. Runners usually face a level of uncertainty and a little self-doubt on their abilities to run a race. There are few reasons for why this happ…

  • http://theveganantihero.wordpress.com/ Michelle

    I actually have been stressing over my upcoming taper! I’m running the Richmond VA marathon Nov 14th and this week my mileage is so much lower than I’m used to followed by even less the week after that. I’m worried about not being to sleep with running so little, combined with the stress of not having my normal running outlet. Anyway, I enjoy this post. Really encourages me to step back and BREATH instead of stressing so much. So thanks!

  • Nehal

    I’m glad you found it interesting Michelle!

    I know the feeling where you’re itching to put on your shoes and get out there. But, I know you’re a smart runner. You need to have the discipline to hold back now but on race day…WATCH OUT! Move out of Michelle’s way, lol :)