Organic Runner Mom

Top 5 Marathon Fears.

Always do what you are afraid to do. - Ralph Waldo Emerson. Face your marathon fears!

Always do what you are afraid to do. – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Face your marathon fears!

The Marathon

Training for and racing a marathon a crazy adventure for sure. The training itself comes with many highs and lows and is a major time and energy commitment. It is a juggling act with life’s daily responsibilities while still trying to stay on track with a training schedule, keeping adequately nourished, rested and healthy. Race day can be unpredictable too with the marathon being a race that can be deemed a success or a failure depending on the last 6.2 miles. The Olympic Marathon trials for the Rio Olympics was a perfect example of how the race can be so different for each individual as we watched Amy Cragg, Desi Linden and Shalane Flanagan all qualify for the team each with a completely different race experience.

The marathon which offers a great sense of accomplishment and pride upon completion and upon meeting big goals. It also however comes with some fears and doubts on the way which I am sure even the elite runners facing down their competitors and individual demons feel as train and race.

Race Day Marathon Fears

Here are some of the fears that you may face during your training. Don’t let these fears consume you instead face them up front, bravely and be smart about what is best for you. Listen to yourself and what you need during your training and on marathon day. I have raced 11 marathons and they have each been a totally different experience.


  • I will get injured. Every runners worst nightmare. Listen to your body. It’s okay to take some extra rest if that is what you need.
  • I won’t be able to keep my pace. Train at the paces that you want to run during the race. Do the speedwork to give your body the strength and speed. Trust your training on race day and run a smart race. Don’t go out too fast!
  • I won’t be able to finish the race. Do the long runs to ensure that your body will be ready for the distance. 26.2 miles is a long way. You will need the endurance.
  • I am worried about bonking. Practice your race day fueling when you go out to train. Find out what works for your body so that you have a fueling strategy for race day.
  • What if my training partner or the other runners are faster than me. The marathon is an individual race and while you may be able to keep pace with a friend if it is not working on race day be ready to run by yourself so that you can focus on your own goals. Run your own race and stick to your plan. Run at least one training run by yourself so that you will be happy running on your own on race day.

Attitude is everything. If you are fearful, write down your fears. Confront your fears and then strategizes. You may still face some surprises along the way but you will never know until you get out there and go after your dreams!

What are your fears about training for or running a marathon?

Boston Marathon Link Love:

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon


9 responses

9 responses

  1. As you well know, we ALL have these fears and the marathon is a long race where anything can happen. I found that out the hard way at NYC, BUT, I crossed that damn finish line and in a decent time. No matter what, you are mentally AND physically tough and I have no doubt you will run a great race. However, I like to play the game of “what it” to all of these fears. Take them one at a time and imagine it happening. How does it feel? How does it change your life? How will it matter to your friends and family? This little test can go a long way in calming your fears and taking their power away!
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – WhiplashMy Profile

  2. I’m about to run my first ever marathon in April(!!!) and my biggest fear is that I won’t finish. When you train for a half you usually run 12 miles for your final long run, so that last 1.1 isn’t gonna crush you. With marathon training I’ve been told to keep it at 20 or 21 miles for that last run. That leaves 10K that ive got to finish and that 10K is going to be a mental struggle I think. I’m gonna work hard to push through, that’s for sure!

  3. Oh gosh, all of the above are my fears. The crazy thing about the marathon, is that no matter how well you prepare or practice your hydration/fueling strategy, mental strategy, the race is a totally different animal and you NEVER know what you are going to get! The positive attitude is key throughout training and during the run, and not being so hard on yourself if things don’t go the way you had hoped. Hard to do for sure!!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Gluten Free Spaghetti Squash Pizza CrustMy Profile

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