Self-doubt, need to change to self-belief

Does anyone else get self-doubt jitters before each run? Even though I know I can run for a specific time or distance I always feel like "well I may have done it before but I bet I can't do it again - it must have been a fluke last time etc etc."  My run tonight is a 30 minute continuous one and although I have already run for longer (33 mins for 1st parkrun) and I didn't feel like I was about to collapse I am thinking to myself - ooh 30 minutes, that's a long time, not sure I can manage that!  It is so annoying, I keep having to have strong words with myself.  I need to start believing in my own ability and have "I know I can" as my mantra instead of "But what if I can't"!   


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10 Replies

  • I recognise this. Two years in, even though I have run countless times I still sometimes tell myself that I can always cut it short if I need to. Of course, I never need to - but I have never quite lost that sense of incredulity that I can run 5k!

    So long as it doesn't stop you trying, don't worry about it.

  • Yep..know what you mean..and like Ully says..wevsay,well I can always stop etc etc..and never do. You can do it definitely🙂

  • Yes, still get this from time to time, but the great thing now is that I know it doesn't matter!  If I don't complete a run one day, I know I can go back and do it another!!  Think back to how daunting the early runs were - that jump to 8 minutes in week 5 was terrifying! Now think about how you don't even consider 8 mins as a run.  How good is that?

  • That is a really good point, I can remember when I could run for 1 minute and said "Well that wasn't too bad but I don't think I could run for 2"! It is important to remind ourselves how far we have come in only a few weeks/months.

    I am doing a 5K race on Monday (well I won't be racing I just want to get round!) and found myself thinking well, I will do parkrun on Saturday but just take it easy and save myself for Monday, never thought in a hundred years I would be able to think that! 

  • Sounds like you're setting yourself up for failure to me - by telling yourself you can't do it before you set out, you reassure yourself that if it doesn't happen, it was meant to be that way, so technically speaking you haven't failed. If that makes sense. We all suffer from imposter syndrome on a regular basis when we run, judging by the number of "Am I a real runner?" posts that pop up on a regular basis.

     So YES, you are a runner. NO, you are not predestined to fail, any more than you are predestined to succeed. We are often a lot tougher on ourselves than everyone else - a person who sees you running will be impressed and maybe wonder why they aren't running, if you are. Little do they know that inside the runner's head there is a gremlin saying "you're a fake"... So stop thinking about it, and just RUN. 

    Read this if you have time (all about imposter syndrome):

  • Yep, Imposter syndrome is a constant feeling for me and I am much harder on myself than I would be to anyone else. You are right, need to stop over-thinking and just get on with it :) 

  • Just read the article, really interesting and I can certainly relate to it. The line "there is a fine line between self-deprecation and self-destruction" is very true.

  • Me too, and not only for running. It can be positive if you know how to keep it from taking over. I think I'll frame that quote and put it over my desk - it made me think too. 

  • Oh yes... know that feeling well. Starting Week 8 and have managed to get past it each run, so far.

  • Every time I go out. I'm doing Week 8 Run 2 later and keep remembering how I nearly collapsed after Run 1. I've always got some sort of doubt whirling around in my head and usually the first 10 minutes are a hard slog after that. However, I grit my teeth until I get half-way through then tell myself that if I've got half-way I can finish the run. I just slow it down if I feel tired. I'm currently running a km in around 8 mins and 20 seconds ..ish...(I think) not really used to reading Map My Run properly. Not bothered about my speed just want to complete my run and eventually get to 5K. It's that thought that beats my self-doubt. Good luck :)

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