Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The mental side of running

Tonight before my crossfit workout, I went on a short run in the area that's down the street from the gym. There were no cars on the gravel path, and aside from a few other crossfitters who were also doing their warmup run, there was no one else around me. 

I felt free. 

As I ran, I thought about the feelings I usually get when I start a race. I look around and see hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of other runners. I know that really, the only competition that matters is the one I have with myself, but even so, I start to feel nervous. I begin to doubt my abilities, and even once I've started running the race, I sometimes fear that I'll do so poorly that I'll be the last person to finish. 

Those types of feelings never cross my mind when I'm running alone, or even with just a small group of people at crossfit. I even tend to run faster when I'm on my own than i do when I'm actually running an official race. Maybe it's performance anxiety, or the fear that I'm being judged by everyone around me, even though as a whole, runners are some of the warmest and most welcoming people I've ever met. Whatever it is, it's all in my head. 

Hopefully, I can work on building up my confidence over the next few weeks as I continue to train for the 10K. 

Have you ever doubted your running abilities just before, or even during a race? If so, how did you start thinking more positively?

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