It’s 2 weeks until race day and I’m injured. A full weeks rest has sent my mind crazy into thinking about what can wrong on race day and how I’ll not reach my target time. “Maranoia” or pre-marathon paranoia has cropped up a lot recently, as we’re closing in on a lot of spring marathons. I didn’t really suffer with it for my first marathon, maybe only a couple days before but that’s just pre race nerves right?


It seems most people get it though, mainly once those longer runs kick in or when those race numbers arrive in the post. We worry if we’ve trained enough, done the right training and compare it to others in a similar position. We also think everything and everyone is going to make us ill and jeopardise our race. Even Dame Kelly Holmes had Maranoia before London last year. But why?!

Podcast on Kelly Holmes’ first marathon

A marathon training plan is around 16 weeks usually, and in that time you are going to miss sessions, have other commitments, have bad runs and feel sick. This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. Majority of people don’t have a perfect pre race plan and that is completely fine! Trust your work, trust yourself and your legs will do the rest. The crowd, the adrenaline and the atmosphere of race day will help you get through it all.

Marathon #1 Barcelona 2016

Everything’s gone through my head this week but as always everyone’s been reassuring me and today I’ve thought what’s the point in worrying? I have worked hard and I will complete the marathon. It doesn’t really matter what time I get and I’ll enjoy the day anyway. I think most people should have this attitude unless you’re an elite chasing those elusive times or even a gfa time. Even then those people probably have the positive, confident mindset to deal with maranoia. If you run a marathon you’re part of the 1% club anyway, no one else cares about your time and no one can take that medal away from you. If then you’re really not satisfied… then book another!


If you are worrying one tip is to have a few goals. Have a gold, silver and a bronze target. E.g. bronze 4:15 silver 4:00 gold sub 4. That way you have room to manoeuvre and adjust if things don’t go according to plan. It’s a long journey, peaks and troughs are inevitable and it’s about overcoming the hard parts and focusing on finishing.

Another tip which I’ve recently learnt is don’t take too much from the taper weeks. If you’re injured or feeling niggles then do rest up. The hard work has already been done and you don’t want to make these worse for race day. Seek reassurance or if the injury worsens then seek professional advice. Don’t make it worse by running because your plan says so. Those last few runs in truth won’t make much of a difference other than keeping your legs tick over.
The hard work is the training, the race is the reward. Embrace the day and enjoy the atmosphere. That’s what I’ll do now. I’ll take it all in & enjoy it. Yes I’ll try get a pb but if my foot hurts or if I hit the wall then so be it. I’ll just make sure I finish, then eat all the food & drink all the beer after. We’ve worked too hard these past few months to spend this last week or two worrying. Take it in and enjoy the whole day, that’s what you’ve worked towards.


What have you been worrying about most?

How do you overcome maranoia?

Any advice for race day?

Thanks to all the people for their reassurance this week… I’ve needed it!



  1. Great post and I really hope your injury sorts itself out! And all great advice – I know lots of folks who basically hide away from the world for about 2 weeks before the big day – terrified of randomly tripping and causing injury and/or of getting the lurgy. Have a great race!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I personally started to panic the minute I took the flight to Chicago (I ran Chicago marathon in 2017) Once I was at the expo all fear went away. I turned the fear into excitement!
    Thank you for the gold, silver, bronze goals, I will think about it in my next races.

    Liked by 1 person

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