Do you suffer from long run anxiety?

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,

6 thoughts on “Do you suffer from long run anxiety?

  1. So I’m not alone in this!!! I get the long run jitters for most long runs of 90 minutes+ . I think part of it is that I want to run well and I have doubts that I can – pressure placed on me by me.

    My best long-run-dread-handling tactic is to, first, pray about it. Yes, God even cares about my long run worries! And the night before I lay out all of my clothes, watch, GUs, etc… so it’s all read to go and the morning doesn’t require much thought. My husband sleeps in with the kids on those Sunday mornings and I remind myself that I don’t need to feel guilty for going out on a run.

    Running is a gift; each step is a blessing! I don’t want to let my worrying take the fun out of it 🙂 Like you mentioned, after that first step of the actual run, those nerves go out the window!

  2. I definitely get long run anxiety! I’m always concerned about it being a bit dread-like, but I think it’s just because I know it’s going to be boring and hurt a lot. I just need to think of ways to make it more enjoyable before I start to not want to run long anymore. I’ve got one more half this year and I’d like to make it through all my long runs still enjoying running!

    • I agree! Life is too short not to enjoy every. single. minute. Including all those minutes spent running! I download audio books to my iPod and that helps me get through boring long runs. I’m listening to a new thriller and actually am looking forward to being able to listen to it uninterrupted for 90+ minutes tomorrow! Thanks for commenting!

  3. So glad I found your blog and I’m not the only one! I worry about tummy troubles, getting dehydrated and passing out (although that has never happened) and all sorts of crazy things.

    And I love the idea of downloading an audio book to listen too! Thanks for the tip!

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