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Frightened of failure!

Posted by Injured2010 , 24 February 2012 · 1,584 views

Sometimes I am so frightened that I might not hit my targets it hurts so much that I convince myself that I am not going to achieve and this is backed up by some poor training runs / training weeks.  Other days I get up and run and I think I am going to be the next Mo Farah :-) Well maybe not quite but I think some moderate success is achievable.

The problem I am finding at the moment is my lack of opportunities to race to assess where I am.  My last 10k PB was in April 2011 and it is going to be April 2012 before I get a chance to race 10k.

I am also working on my techinque and my calves are hurting all the time and I think I might have gone back over with performance before I can start going forward.  I can get very impatient and there is always the temptation to go faster in training with poor technique but I will not and I will remain focused on running with good technique and I just hope I come through it all in time for some good racing in April, May and June.

I am sure I am not alone in being frightened of failure and I was wondering how other people cope with self pressure and how people cope with poor training runs / poor training weeks?

Fear of failure (& more intriguingly the fear of success) interfere with so many enterprises. I know I sometimes talked myself out of events telling myself I wasn't ready when the truth was I was just scared of performing badly. I didn't race very often which held back my progress. Towards the end I got into mental preparation & that  really helped me. Couple of good books on mental training are: "The Total Runner" Dr Jerry Lynch & "The Competitive Edge"  Richard Elliot. Probably hard to get hold of but really worthwhile. Good luck.

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Feb 25 2012 01:29 PM
Are you doing any 'easy' weeks?; usually ever 3 to 5 weeks, with reduced volume and intensity. Need those to recharge the batteries.
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Feb 26 2012 05:04 AM
Lindyk - Interesting that you mention that about races.  I can't run a lot of races due to work but to be honest I don't think I would have chosen to run too many more.  Perahps 1 a month at most with some time trials in my training but guess nothing beats a race to improve but I am wary about not performing and still want to run PB's all the time at this stage of my development.

I will try to get a hold of those books as some mental preparation might really help.

Caterpillar - Yeah there are some easy weeks but I'm training on hard ground all the time which doesn't help (no choice!) and work is stressful with some long hours and quite mentally tiring which I think doesn't help.
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Hi I'm having the same trouble with a mentally tiring job and long hours making my training hard work. . I'm trying to run when possible in groups rather than on my own, it really helps to take the pressure off training and the miles accumulate more easily.

I've found the PB's easier to attain with longer miles and stronger legs, rather than due to lots of racing and speed work.
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May 25 2012 09:35 PM
Intersting point about the longer miles and stronger legs as I know a lot of people who find their 10k times come down when training for a marathon or even an Ultra without any specific speed work.

Personally, I think a good balance of both is good and I enjoy the speed work / endurance runs.  However, I think it is important to complete at least 1 long run a week.
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17:25.9 (5000m) - 05/05/2012
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