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Get Over Your Running Fears
Yesterday I met a bunch of beginner runners who are starting to train for a spring half or full marathon with my team. Many of them are nervous about taking on such a challenge and wondering whether they'll do able to go the distance. Whether you're trying to establish a running habit or training for a big race, it's totally normal to feel nervous and anxious. But rather than letting your fears prevent you from reaching your goals, here are some ways you can manage them.
Fear: "I'm worried that I won't be able to run the whole time." Don't discount the power of a walking break! Some runners mistakenly associate walking during a run or race with giving up and will only walk reluctantly when they reach the point of extreme fatigue or discomfort. I encourage runners to embrace walking as part of an overall run/walk strategy for completing long runs or races, or as a cross-training activity for non-running days in their training schedule.
Fear: "I'm afraid I'll lose my motivation." All runners go through some periods when they're lacking motivation. One smart way to get inspired to keep running is to find a running group. When you know other people are counting on you to be at a workout, you're more likely to show up. And the social interaction and competition that comes with group training also help boost your motivation.
Fear: "I feel self-conscious running in public." Many people say they feel intimidated about running in public because they think everyone will be staring at them and making judgments. The truth is that most runners are happy to see new people join the sport because they can remember what it was like when they first started running. Wearing the right clothes for running may make you feel more comfortable when running in public. For women, it's especially important to wear the right sports bra . And, remember, the first time is usually the hardest. If you're not used to running in public, you'll feel much more comfortable once you've done it a few times.
Fear: "I'm concerned that I'll get injured." Yes, some runners do get injured, but many running injuries can be prevented if you avoid doing too much too soon, get fitted for the right running shoes, and follow some other simple injury prevention steps.