Scared To Run A Marathon? Read This

Tonight (Sunday 5th January 2020) Ant Middleton starts another series in the UK of SAS Who Dares Win. If you’re not familiar with the show he’ll put 20 or so contestants under a demanding training schedule for the SAS. If they complete it, they’ll win a place in the SAS. One thing that stops most of these people though is fear, they’re scared.

What is Fear?

I recently finished reading Ant Middleton’s book, “The Fear Bubble”. He talks about fear as something that’s pulling many of us back, we’re constantly being fed messages of negativity through the media, if you run on the road you’ll be knocked down, if we eat this we’ll die, if we climb a snowy mountain we’ll die in an avalanche, if we climb too high we’ll fall. This negativity is pooring into society and more and more of us are suffering from depression and anxiety because of this. What many of us need to do is learn to face fear, if you do this there’s no limits.

How Can I Control It?

I’ll be honest, trying to sum up a 300 page book is very difficult but these are the main points.

Fear happens in stages, when you first feel fear, ask yourself should I be scared? Think of fear as a bubble, the “fear bubble”, seperate the bubbles of fear you need to break. You only need to be fearful when you’re in the bubble. For example, if you’re about to go into a job interview generally you’ll feel fear before you go in, don’t be scared. You only need to be fearful when you’re actually “in the moment”, actually sat in the chair being asked interview questions, why are you so fearful when there’s nothing to be fearful about?

When you feel fear, what happens? Your heart beats faster, your palms begin to sweat, you’ll feel panicky. This is fear, but this is also your body telling you to get ready, get ready to push through the fear and break the fear bubble. Think of fear as “getting ready” then ultimately there’s no fear. Harness this feeling and make the most of it, then instead of fear being a negative thing, it becomes a positive.

What Has This Got To Do With Running?

EVERYTHING, as well as a physical sport, running is extremely mental. Let’s say you go out for a 5k run, what if I said to you, double it. 10k, go on, go and run 10k just like that. You’ll be fearful, you’ll say no way, I’ll never do it. But hang on a minute, apply the “fear bubble” and the “get ready” technique, then it’s suddenly possible. Use your fear to enhance your run. Once you’ve done it once, you can do it again, then a half marathon, marathon and before you know it, any distance you like. Remember, anything is possible, just face the fear.

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