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I don't know if its just traumatic gym class memories, but whenever I decide to go for a run I start feeling really horrible and anxious - running doesnt clear my head at all, it just makes me jittery up until I do it and then sort of relieved but horrible afterwards. I'm normally quite good at squashing anxious feelings (social anxiety teaches you a lot!) but I can't seem to shake this one! Any advice?

Amazonian Rebel

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Can you say a bit more about these feelings and anxieties? It's hard to know what to suggest without a bit more background and information. Also, have you been running long, and how far do you typically run?

 

There's something that I call "system shock" that I sometimes get early in a run. If you imagine the energy bar at 100% at the start, it'll decline and then start replenishing, and eventually find some kind of balance at which it just gradually drops. But at the start of the run, it's just dropping, and I find that a bit scary even though I know what it is, and that it'll stop. It's almost a fear that I don't have enough energy in the tank, that I'll just somehow burn through it and be left with no energy, and that's quite a scary thought if I've got ages to go/am miles from home. I often get this in the first two or three KMs, and it soon passes.

 

Is this anything like what you're feeling, or is it something else?

 Level 4 Human Adventurer / Level 4 Scout, couch to 5k graduate, six time marathon finisher.

Spoiler

 

Current 5k Personal Best: 22:00 / 21:23 / 21:13 / 21:09 / 20:55 / 20:25 (4th July 17)

Current 5 mile PB: 36:41 35:27 34:52 (10th May 17)

Current 10k PB: 44:58 44:27 44:07 44:06 43:50 (29th June 17)

Current Half Marathon PB: 1:41:54 1:38:24 1:37:47 1:37:41 (14th June 15)

Current Marathon PB: 3:39:34 3:29:49 (10th April 16)

 

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Can you say a bit more about these feelings and anxieties? It's hard to know what to suggest without a bit more background and information. Also, have you been running long, and how far do you typically run?

 

There's something that I call "system shock" that I sometimes get early in a run. If you imagine the energy bar at 100% at the start, it'll decline and then start replenishing, and eventually find some kind of balance at which it just gradually drops. But at the start of the run, it's just dropping, and I find that a bit scary even though I know what it is, and that it'll stop. It's almost a fear that I don't have enough energy in the tank, that I'll just somehow burn through it and be left with no energy, and that's quite a scary thought if I've got ages to go/am miles from home. I often get this in the first two or three KMs, and it soon passes.

 

Is this anything like what you're feeling, or is it something else?

 

That's exactly what it is! Like a fear that I'll just suddenly faint or something - plus, it's stopped me from ever running farther than like 1.5k so I've never experienced the point where it levels out :/

Amazonian Rebel

Level 0
 CURRENT CHALLENGE

 

Q1 - Yoga 6 days a week

 

Q2 -Other workout 3 days a week

 

Q3 - Bed before midnight, up before 8am
10%

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That's exactly what it is! Like a fear that I'll just suddenly faint or something - plus, it's stopped me from ever running farther than like 1.5k so I've never experienced the point where it levels out :/

 

I think I understand now. When I started running, it felt like the bridge in Star Trek during a battle with stuff flying everywhere, alarms going off, general panic and confusion. Why am I running, what's going on, what's the danger, can't keep this up, arrrgghhhh panic, klaxons and bells and whistles.

 

This is entirely normal.

 

But after training/practice, new runners generally get to a point where for the first time they can run comfortably without their body freaking out. Possibly not for very long or very fast, but it gets acclimatised and chills the hell out. I think a lot of it is probably to do with breathing patterns and rythms. I remember reaching this point, and it's brillant when you get there... being able to jog along sustainably even for a short time. The next big step is even better.... when you realise that your energy level is slowly starting to regenerate while running.

 

Have you tried couch-to-5k? That's how I got started with running. One of the things that I liked about it is that it uses a walk-run-walk strategy. Five minute walk to warm up, then a bit of time running, then back to walking, then running again. I can't tell whether the main obstacle is fitness/practice at running or confidence, but I'd imagine that couch to 5k should do the trick. I think the one I used also has some tips about breathing.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

 

My other tips would be to slow right down, find the rythm in your feet, and breathe!

 Level 4 Human Adventurer / Level 4 Scout, couch to 5k graduate, six time marathon finisher.

Spoiler

 

Current 5k Personal Best: 22:00 / 21:23 / 21:13 / 21:09 / 20:55 / 20:25 (4th July 17)

Current 5 mile PB: 36:41 35:27 34:52 (10th May 17)

Current 10k PB: 44:58 44:27 44:07 44:06 43:50 (29th June 17)

Current Half Marathon PB: 1:41:54 1:38:24 1:37:47 1:37:41 (14th June 15)

Current Marathon PB: 3:39:34 3:29:49 (10th April 16)

 

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Have you tried having something to focus on besides the actual moving part? I know a few people who got so stressed out about it they actually threw up before they finished warming up. So I would run next them and chat about non running things. One buddy of mine we talked about cars and before he knew it we'd run over 4 miles. Even something as simple as a count down if you are doing intervals would be good. Just something to think about besides the actual running. Maybe a phone call? If you stay in the aerobic zone (not gasping for breath) you should be able to run and carry on a conversation pretty easily. Other than that, the only other option I can tell you is to push on. Eventually you will adjust, I'm assuming you haven't been running long. This usually happens to me around mile 11 of the half. 

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It does level out. It's like your mind realizes that this is as tired as your legs and lungs are going to get and it's all going to be ok, so you can keep pushing. It may take a little more experience running for this to start happening, though.

 

It is really hard to actually accept this idea, but it really is true. 

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