“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
1) I am going to finish last. Even if you finish dead last you are finishing way ahead of everyone sitting at home on the couch. If your first race is a short race, such as a 5k, there will be plenty of walkers that will finish after you.
2) I am too self conscious to run in front of people. The Reality is that runners welcome new runners and will be glad too share advice. The best advice I can give is to buy the right running clothes and shoes. Find a good training program on the Internet to follow and then relax and have fun.
3) I will not be able to run the whole time. I was amazed during my first race the number of runners that stopped and walked. In every race I have ever ran, I have seen runners who have stopped and walked. There are even programs such as the Galloway method that train this way.
4) I do not know what to expect. Runner’s World, blogs, and forums are great places to learn what to expect. If you have the opportunity, go watch a race or volunteer to help at a race to learn what to expect. My personal experience is I just showed up at my first race and ran and was hooked.
5) I am too old to be running races. I thought I was old when I ran my first race in 2007 at the age of 48. I have since met people running marathons that are in their 80’s. It is very encouraging and inspiring to meet an octogenarian who is out having the time of his life running a marathon.
What fears did you have going into your first race?