new anxiety running outdoors

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p0kers0ph
p0kers0ph Posts: 251 Member
I've been running on and off for the past couple of years now. I went through periods of running regularly outdoors and loving it! Lately though I've grown really anxious about running in public. I don't know where this has come from and I don't know how to get over it. I want to go out but I just can't seem to do it through fear. I either have to wait til it gets dark or go out very early morning when there aren't many people about :(
I've got 2 races in July and the way things are going I'm gonna be pretty un-ready for these! I haven't actually got out for a couple of weeks now.
Any ideas or help would be very much appreciated.
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Replies

  • jamers3111
    jamers3111 Posts: 495 Member
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    Really the only way you're going to get over it is just to do it. Realize that no one cares what you're doing and how you look doing it... it's all in your cute little head. In the words of Nike "Just Do It."
  • roosterfish81
    roosterfish81 Posts: 13 Member
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    I struggle with this to a certain degree too (though I still manage to go) What is it that you afraid of? Like if you had to describe what goes through your mind when you are trying to make yourself go, what goes through your mind? Other pople looking at you while you're running? Not feeling safe? Not being able to sustain a run?
    Your first step is pinpointing exactly what your afraid of, working out why and then how to deal with it.
    Do you have general anxiety and not just about running?
  • ntaylorut
    ntaylorut Posts: 31 Member
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    I have the same issue. I put my kids to bed around 9pm and then go running when it is dark. I am in the sub 25 minutes 5k range right now and I still can't run in my neighborhood in day light. I don't have any trouble running in a race, which is weird. When I do make myself run in daylight, I turn my music up louder than normal to try to block everything else out.
  • funkylemur
    funkylemur Posts: 55 Member
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    Have you tried running with music on ? I find I put my headphones in and shut out the world otherwise Id never go.
  • 77tes
    77tes Posts: 7,910 Member
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    Go out to walk. Once you start, you'll probably want to start to run because walking is too boring for you.
  • lizsmith1976
    lizsmith1976 Posts: 497 Member
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    I don't know if I can help since I've never felt that - but just know that most runners are lost in their heads or their headphones or counting down miles until they are done! If I do catch another runner's eye, it is just to smile and nod my head. No judgment or anything negative. God knows I've got flaws in my form, not thinking about anyone else's...

    Maybe sign up for a fun run 5K or something like that before July? I LOVE running in races with other people. The excitement and the atmosphere and the enjoyment of a group of people doing something they enjoy together is so motivating to me. I'm in no way competitive with anyone but myself and I want to see everyone succeed and enjoy running.

    I hope it goes away and you get back to feeling ok with running! Good luck!
  • angrystarlyt
    angrystarlyt Posts: 10 Member
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    Well, what kind of fear is it? Is it an agoraphobia thing? I feel like "fear" implies more than embarrassment about running slowly, looking sweaty, etc.
  • courtneylee31
    courtneylee31 Posts: 178 Member
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    Im a heavier set girl, I run 3-5 times a week down the side streets around my apartment building. I too have to wear my headphones or else I wouldn't do it. I was once really anxious about it too, but the only thing you can do is just do it. I know that doesn't sound very helpful, but no one else can do it for you :) . Lace them runners up and get out there girl, its beautiful weather!!
  • danimal5867
    danimal5867 Posts: 390
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    Run for you, not for anybody else out there who may be watching. I see people running everyday. Some are fast, some are slow. Some have nearly perfect form while others look like they're inventing a new dance. It just doesn't matter! They are all getting the job done. In the end, we don't run for anyone but ourselves. We run because we love to run!
  • MorganLeighRN
    MorganLeighRN Posts: 411 Member
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    Really the only way you're going to get over it is just to do it. Realize that no one cares what you're doing and how you look doing it... it's all in your cute little head. In the words of Nike "Just Do It."

    This! No one cares what you look like! I notice the other runners, say hit to them and keep going. I couldn't remember anyone that I passes yesterday on the trail. Most runners are some of the nicest people that you will every meet. Put your music on (if you use it) and just go!
  • p0kers0ph
    p0kers0ph Posts: 251 Member
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    Thanks for all the replies and support so far, you guys are awesome!
    I think it's mainly anxiety about how I look, I'm self conscious and just feel really fat. I know it's in my head and I probably picture myself very differently to others but I can't help how I feel unfortunately.
  • sullus
    sullus Posts: 2,839 Member
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    I've been running on and off for the past couple of years now. I went through periods of running regularly outdoors and loving it! Lately though I've grown really anxious about running in public. I don't know where this has come from and I don't know how to get over it. I want to go out but I just can't seem to do it through fear. I either have to wait til it gets dark or go out very early morning when there aren't many people about :(
    I've got 2 races in July and the way things are going I'm gonna be pretty un-ready for these! I haven't actually got out for a couple of weeks now.
    Any ideas or help would be very much appreciated.

    This is why I run in the woods. I've just got a "thing" about running .. where people can see me. Irrational? Yep. Real? Yep.
  • TheLoneMarmot
    TheLoneMarmot Posts: 43 Member
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    Honestly, the first step is the hardest.

    After you have managed to do a few runs outside you won't even think twice about it.

    Good luck! :smile:
  • bugaha1
    bugaha1 Posts: 602 Member
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    Just the opposite for me other runners seem to help my endurance. I’m new to running (5 Months) I find it funny when I plan to run the next 3 blocks than power walk than I see a runner coming that’s 6 blocks away I always run till we pass and then I even go another block after we pass. =)
  • meeper123
    meeper123 Posts: 3,347 Member
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    No one is going to say anything most people wont notice you at all just put some head phones on be mindful of cars and foot traffic and tune them all out. :)
  • CallMeCupcakeDammit
    CallMeCupcakeDammit Posts: 9,375 Member
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    This is how I've been feeling ever since my 15 yr old told me my butt looks funny when I run. I have to keep telling myself she's only 15, what does she know?! I do most of my running at night, too.
  • oliviabog
    oliviabog Posts: 101
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    I had a bad experience last year which caused me to stop. I really regret stopping outdoors running because i can only imagine where id be now if i had carried on. I started again and in out for myself and i don't care what anyone else thinks. Even if anyone said anything i wouldn't hear because my music is up too high.

    i ran a few weeks back and went past a teenaged to really encouragingly said 'go on!'. I wasn't expecting it but it was really nice.

    i think i had an unusual experience a month ago, i was running 9 km as i am now and ended up with pancreatitis in hospital and had my gall bladder removed... To have to sit there and just want to badly to be out running was painful. All i wanted was to be outside and doing it. Now that i am i cant explain how grateful i am to be able to run outside. That's another reason why i just don't care, no one just looking at me could possibly fathom how hard the last month has been.

    Just get out and do it, enjoy it. Its your life, f#*k what anyone thinks!
  • Ke22yB
    Ke22yB Posts: 969 Member
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    Based on your profile you are not really fat except maybe in your own head and have made great progress your head will catch up and adjust to how good you are starting to look if you give it a chance. I started " wogging" walk jog at 280 pounds and at most times the bouncy body parts probably wasn't a pretty sight so I wore larger shirts baggy sweats etc but I kept going out and I found I was getting smiles and waves from other runners a small nod of encouragement from most. I keep running and kept losing weight
    I now make a point in smiling or nodding or saying hi to every runner I pass and extending the same encouragement that was given to me so go out and do it and wave to those runners bigger than you and help them along
  • bugaha1
    bugaha1 Posts: 602 Member
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    This is how I've been feeling ever since my 15 yr old told me my butt looks funny when I run. I have to keep telling myself she's only 15, what does she know?! I do most of my running at night, too.

    You need to stop running in the dark because we love the way your butt looks when you run. =)
  • CoronerKris
    CoronerKris Posts: 57 Member
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    Just get out there! I used to have anxiety about running in public and would find places where there would be no people but now im out running on the streets and get passed by a bunch of cars and it doesnt phase me. Seriously once you start itll only get easier! And hey if you are gonna be in a race youll be with a ton of people so might as well get used to it now.