My heart is racing, my stomach feels queasy, my skin is tingling, and I can feel it in my toes. No, I’m not on the starting blocks for a televised race – I am prepping for my long run. My heart starts to flutter even days away as I think about the 12 miles that I will run this Friday as part of my half marathon training.
Last week for my 10 miler, I had trouble falling asleep the night before. I found myself lying there and scolding myself in my head about how hard it would be to run a quality run of any distance on little sleep. I had my running clothes laid out and ready, a morning snack prepped, I drank plenty of water throughout the day – I was ready, but I was nervous.
In the end, my 10 mile run last Friday was great. I felt like my pace was decent and that I could have possibly gone one or two more miles. I didn’t feel tight and anxious the entire 10 miles. In fact, the nerves subsided soon after I began. So why am I already sweating (figuratively and literally) my upcoming 12 mile run that is still two days away? And even more to the point, do these nerves help me or hurt me in my training?
Here is my not-a-licensed-psychologist theory: It won’t hurt my training as long as my nerves don’t turn into dread and if they do, as long as they don’t turn into dread before every workout and every long run as long. Jitters are okay, dread is another story. It is also a good sign that my nerves calm as soon as I start running. The nerves can be parlayed into adrenaline and used as fuel for my runs. One more plus, by the time race day is here, I will be an expert at dealing with the pre-run jitters.
Do you get anxiety before a tough workout? How do you handle it?
Until Next Time,