While running a race can bring a lot of joy and satisfaction to life, it can also play with your psyche. Some people struggle with running-related fears, especially when it comes to entering races. In fact, I’m willing to bet most runners have felt some of these from time-to-time. Let’s break down some of these worries and see how to counter them.
I’m afraid someone will see me and laugh
Unless you show up dressed like a giant chicken or something, a lot of people won’t even notice you, which may help alleviate the fears. Everybody is thinking about themselves and their own skills/abilities/performance. But there are some measures you can take to boost your confidence. Invest in some running clothes. If you look the part, you’ll feel the part more. (And this doesn’t mean you have to wear itty-bitty, split side shorts.)
Plus, people laughing at you at a race is very unlikely to happen. Runners are an extremely accepting group and we love to see people join our sport.
If I enter a race, I’m afraid I’ll be last
Well, the honest truth is that someone has to be last. And even if that is you, there will be people there to applaud you. Usually people are very inspired by those who come in last. (And there are some instances at races where they break things down too soon. Those are bad races run by bad race directors. Read reviews online if you are truly concerned about that.)
This is unknown territory
Every new thing is unchartered waters at some point, so sometimes you just have to jump in and get wet. Find a local event that gets good reviews and has lots of good support. Or find a large-scale event that promises lots of on-course entertainment. These should guarantee that you’re not floundering on a course by yourself or bored. In your training, practice everything for race day. From the clothes you’ll wear to the food and liquids you’ll consume. That way the only new thing on race day is the race itself. Remind yourself that you’ve been through most of this before.
I don’t see the point
For me, the point of entering a race isn’t awards or accolades… I don’t often receive those anyway. For me it is about challenging myself and getting out to be with other runners. The running community is good people!
If people are pressuring you to enter a race and you honestly don’t see the point, sit down and make a list of all the negatives and counter them with positives. You may see that it is full of excitement and possibility–be open and willing to redefining yourself. Or perhaps you’ll find that it really doesn’t make sense for you. But at least you’ll know why you don’t want to enter as opposed to making a vague guess.
I also found a couple of articles that I think go along with this subject. Check them out!