It’s All in Your Head: Are You Making Your Race Impossible?

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It’s All in Your Head: Are You Making Your Race Impossible?

If you’ve ever attempted to accomplish a major task, you may have faced this thought at some point: “this is impossible and I can never do it!”
If this is how you enter the preparation, training, or actual 5K, you may just be right!

One of the biggest elements of accomplishing a giant task or activity such as running a 5K is getting yourself mentally prepared. Sure, you should buy supplies, eat a good meal, and train for at least a few weeks if running usually isn’t your thing, but the final and most important step that you need to accomplish is to get yourself mentally and emotionally ready for the event. Here are some common thoughts and some ways you can help yourself overcome them:

1. This is impossible. Consider the fact that thousands of people not only compete in, but complete 5K runs every year—some people even do multiple events! That means that this is definitely not impossible.

2. I can never do this! Maybe this statement would be better reworded as “I have never done this,” or even “I never thought I could do this.” When you start thinking of the negative, you are setting yourself up to fail. Instead, try thinking positively! By convincing yourself that you can, you can see results.

3. I’ll probably break an ankle/have an asthma attack/get hit by a low-flying plane. No matter whether your fears are realistic or not, ask yourself: Is this helping me, or hurting me? Some fears are helpful, because they allow us to make better decisions. If you know you have a health condition, your fears might prompt you, rightly, to consult with a doctor before beginning your training plan. However, if you are only focused on the bad things that might happen, try to consider the realities: most people who run 5Ks come out just fine, even a little healthier.

4. I’ll come in last. When you race for a good cause, it doesn’t matter if you come in first, last, or anywhere in between. You are running to help support a good cause—for our Annual 5K Color Run/Walk, we run to support cancer research. There are no losers in cancer research!
No matter what’s holding you back, try to consider the alternative. You may like it way more than you ever thought, and no matter what happens, when you are participating for a good cause, you are accomplishing the best goals possible.

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