when i fail to complete

Three days ago, I failed to complete Stamina Podcast. After running for 15 minutes I just couldn't go on. Had a really difficult time breathing in.

Yesterday morning, I dragged myself out of the bed and tried Stamina Podcast again.

I completed the run, but during the run (and especially before the run), I had this "heavy overcast" in my mind, that I was going fail again, and that "overcast" was making it very difficult for me to complete the run.

I am curious to know if anyone understands the feeling I'm trying to describe, that feeling of "fear" after a failed attempt. And how do you handle that fear? How can I turn it into more positive thinking?


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29 Replies

  • 100% !!

    I think A LOT of us feel that way. Personally I find that the only way to get past it is to ignore it (although i can totally appreciate how difficult that is!!), get out there and do it! Hopefully someone will be able to offer us some advice haha but until then just know that this is really, really common to the point where i would argue its human nature.

  • Thanks Operation2015!

  • What you describe are known on this forum as "the gremlins". Nasty little buggers in your head who delight in telling you that you just can't finish and that it would be much better to stop now.

    I can't really say how to handle them pre-run but during a run just ask yourself if you are in trouble PHYSICALLY? Are you struggling to breathe or in imminent danger of injuring yourself? If the answer to both of those is "no", you can tell yourself (and the gremlins) that you are fine to continue.

  • Great news Dunder2004. I saw your post before a run today, and I imagined a gremlin running in front of me, and turning back and grinning at me. I imagined chasing after it, trying to catch it. That kept me going! haha! Thanks Dunder!

  • Wahay! Next time make sure you do catch him/her and give it a good kick up the a$$.

  • Hahahaha. Yeah right? One day. One day I will catch him.

  • You can have good runs and you can have bad runs, but you can never have a failed run. If it doesn't work out for you one day, it doesn't mean that it won't work out for you another time. There's no rhyme or reason behind it. Just never, never think that your run was a "failure".

    Believe me, you got out there, you did something. That's all that's important. There's always tomorrow, and if tomorrow doesn't work either - how about next week?

  • That's true Adam. I will keep that in mind! never a failed run! :)

  • If I have a really rotten run I'll set the next one up for success. I'll pick a short, easy route, change up the tunes I bring along and go as slow as possible with no real goals. We all have those days, and I think many of us have that nagging doubt after a bad run.

  • That's a great idea runswithdogs. I like the idea of making sure I finish no matter how slow I run. I will do that on my next bad run!

  • I completely understand, the running gremlins will tell us we are rubbish, can't do it etc etc...you need a mantra to get rid of them that you repeat over and over when its tough ( I shout mine sometimes). Mine is, Push that Body, Punish that Body,' good luck :)

  • Hey Juicyju. Thanks for the tip and sharing your mantra. I will look up some mantra to say in my mind! maybe something like "go away you little gremlins!" haha.

  • I would say almost if not every time I set off, I get negatives floating through my ,ind, I start to think of stopping before I even begun. Today no exception at the park run. I never know how I've finished it when I do. Today I have weird thoughts like, Ayrton Senna would never give up etc. ( I was a big fan) I think of people who aren't quitters to inspire me to keep running. Its worked so far, its the best I can offer lol.

  • Another great tip. Thaks Hussainbolts!

  • I don't think it matters whether or not the mantra is appropriate. Just have one. As a kid, I always remember hearing my mother's voice above everyone else's as she was yelling at me at a swimming gala. She was shouting "mirror, signal, mirror, manoeuvre". She never did pass her driving test (and I did my best to disown her at the gala...).

  • She shouted that at you while you were swimming? Sometimes kids are a bit harsh on embarrassing parents, but I think being disowned was fully deserved there!

  • She was getting excited. Apparently it was the first thing that came into her head.

  • Aww, I suppose it's sweet really! Hope you forgave her soon after the event!

  • I tried the steeping stones pretty soon after I graduated and failed miserably and never went back to it .

    My thinking is to run, learn, rest, recover and then run again ...

  • aw. Poor Mum.

    Beyond a certain point it's more a mental game thn it is physical. The body does what the brain tells it it can. Or can't.

    This can work to our advantage if we psych ourselves up well, or against us if we allowed doubts to creep in. That's why some days we, or at the other end of the spectrum, top athletes, perform well under par and on others smash the boundaries of what we thought capable. How we deal with it differs from person to person. Having a manra, as described, works for some people, although I am not one of them. doing the run mentallly beforehand and picturing oneself succeeding and reaching the finish line strong is another technique. Listening to inspiring music is still another. aLternatively you could try just distracting your mind from the task at hand and running on autopilot. I have pulled myself out of running slumps before by going for a run while preoccupied by some problem which demanded my attention all the way round, only to discover at the end that because I wasn't second-guessing my pace all the way round I have actually run fatser than I expected, and that has then given me the confidence for the next time.

    There is no hard and fast answer, but there are lots of solutions, it's just a matter of finding the ones that work for you. Also it is not a noob condition. I get it from time to time, every runner or sportsperson I know does, and from biographies I have read, even the highest level athletes have the same issues. As I said at the start it is as much a mental game as it is physical. The flipside of that is as we work through these issues we strengthen ourselves mentally just as we improve our fitness physically.

  • Great summary of 'the gremlins' and how to tackle the little blighters, Rig.

  • Audiobooks have the same effect as thinking about a particular issue. If you find yourself willing the run to end, the distraction of a really gripping story can really take your mind off it, to the extent that you might want to do an extra k to get to the end of the chapter!

  • That's a great idea useitorloseit! Once I find my comfortable speed I think I will try audiobooks! or even some other podcasts not related to running!

  • The + podcasts are hard, kudos for doing it again the next run!

  • Thank you Curlygurly2!

  • I agree that the stamina podcasts are tough. I tried 1 shortly after graduating & was shocked - Laura was quite harsh!! ☺ I didn't go back to them for ages but now I like to use them fairly regularly - not so much the speed one. It is quite a jump from the last C25K to the + series I think. It knocked me back at the time but I kept on plodding & I felt pretty smug when I managed them. I regularly have doubts about my running - too slow, left it too late in life, can't keep up, hills are a nightmare etc. But the thought of not doing it & the times when things go well keep me going. Thisfs forum is a great pick me up for when things aren't looking brilliant. Keep going - you'll get through it☺☺

  • Thank you Sharon! Its great that people are here to support each other and to share thoughts and experiences. Knowing that everyone's gone through/going through definitely helps me keep going and I feel like I'm not alone in this! :)

  • You've got a solid bank of response there, M.O.M! I can't add anything other than yes, I get them too, and dealing with them is as much a part of learning to run as putting one foot in front of another is :-) good luck:-)

  • Thanks Potty! That's so true! Its great to see so much support here!

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