Mental illness and running

I wanted a place where we could get advice and support.

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14/05/2011 at 14:51
I've seen the odd post floating about about how therapeutic running is or asking if anyone knows how to overcome problems caused by medication/depression/motivation etc.

I thought it would be nice to pull it all together in one place so we don't have to feel guilty about posting.

I've sort of 'come out' as a person with mental health problems on the site ... although that wasn't really my intention.

I hope people will use this thread, and that we can support each other to run.
14/05/2011 at 16:01
I've been too poorly to run for a few weeks, now I'm really struggling to get out running again. I've lost my confidence.

The marathon is a week away but it's oppressing rather than motivating me.

I can't even see myself running in my minds eye any more.

I don't know what to do .... any ideas?
14/05/2011 at 16:36

Firstly - as far as the marathon goes if you've put in the training so far until you were poorly then the hard stuff is done and trying to cram in more miles now will not help.

Getting motivated again is more difficult but the only thing you can do to overcome it is to get your shoes on and just do it, the very fact that you did it will bring it's own motivation rewards.   Set yourself a goal of going for a little walk/run within the next couple of days - sometimes it's best to do it first thing in the morning if it's possible as theres less time to find reasons not to go.  Prepare your kit the night before  so its ready for you and just go for a walk, don't worry about showering or eating or what you look like, just get dressed and go.  If you feel like it start running.  It dosen't matter if you walk it all, run it all or mix it up - just being outside moving briskly will help.   Don't set yourself any other time or distance goals either as that will just pile the pressure on, choose a short local route that you know you can do easily and if you feel good an want to then go a little further. 

Another good tip is to keep a running log/diary, that way when you're feeling down and think you can't do it a quick look at the log will show you how far you've come and what you've achieved.  Good luck x

14/05/2011 at 16:44
I can't offer much in the way of advice or help, but just wanted to pop in to offer a little bit of support instead (((SOLB)))

I hope you find a way out of the door soon
14/05/2011 at 16:55

It's very easy to let a big race get the better of you, especially when you've been working towards it for months.  The very fact of taking it seriously gives it a sort of looming significance that grows and reaches a peak just about now in the case of your race. 

Remember why you started running, and how far you've come. Try to see clearly, and picture how you will feel after the race with your medal round your neck, or showing it to your family. Take it easy if your training's been disrupted; save your effort for the end so you can take it in and not be dead on your feet.  Be proud of the money you've raised and what it's going to be used for, remember all  the runs you've done, dig deep and do your best on the day.

I think you deserve this, don't let anything rob you of it.

14/05/2011 at 17:17

Can't pretend to be an expert on this topic (or much else really) SOLB, but just want to say that it's pretty usual to feel daunted as a big race looms. I'm a bit of a joke with the people I run with for my'...don't want to do it now...' cold feet the week before anything really, let alone a full mararthon.

If you've done the training you deserve to do the run - in my experience it'll be loads better than you dread it'll be. 

14/05/2011 at 17:40
Thanks so much (I'm going to pretend that I was cool and collected and didn't just cry reading your posts!)

Sunluvva, you've just said exactly what I knew I had to do - but with some concessions that I'd never have given myself. You are totally right I have to just do it. I have a tendency to demand such a lot of myself that everything I do is a bit daunting. I live on the edge of a park, I've been thinking about running it but haven't because I don't want to do multiple laps and running just a mile isn't good enough. I'm stupid sometimes, one mile is most definitely better than no miles!

*Frodo* thanks, that means a lot - sometimes I just need to hear that other people do care. It's easy to listen to the malicious voices and ignore the kindness of real people.

Mr Puffy, OH OF COURSE, I hadn't considered that part of the problem is just race nerves ... my training hasn't gone to plan with lots of injuries so I'll be running much slower than I'd hoped - I just have to keep remembering how wonderful it is to be running at all!

KK you're right physically I can make the distance, as above not as fast as hoped but still I can make it, I ran 21 and felt fine so I can do 26.2 (and probably feel a little less fine!)

I've already decided I'm running another marathon to give myself a chance to run to my potential (without all the injuries etc) I only need to try this marathon so that the illness hasn't beaten me - next time I can focus on speed etc. Perhaps it's not quite as massive as it seems, I'll try to remember the world will still turn even if I don't make the finish line.

Gym'n'tonic (love the name) I think you may be right about the cold feet. Thanks for reminding me 'normal' people get scared and think they can't do it too.

Thank you all so much for caring enough to comment

I'm going to go put my kit step at a time...hopefully once I'm dressed I might be able to find the will to push out of the door for just one lap of the country park.
Edited: 14/05/2011 at 17:45
14/05/2011 at 18:23

Howdy little brain I'm sure that's not true, you need a more positive and shorter name  

 There is a long running thread on here for support, chat, tears .. you name it, it's there for it. affectionately known as the blue room. it's been a source of amazing help and support for many people on here, me for one. take a look an pop in to say hello.


14/05/2011 at 18:38
LOL I usually get called SOLB, I just felt a bit lost being so new to running and having so many questions.
I'll pop over to the Blue room AFTER I've got my lazy bum out for that mile ..... come oooooon SOLB it's really not a big deal just run
14/05/2011 at 18:41
Have you got something nice you can reward yourself with for getting out, SOLB?
Maybe a nice hot bath, a nice meal... and remember that warm, slightly smug feeling you'll have for having beaten some of the demons
14/05/2011 at 18:42

Hope the run goes well solb.

just read yr link - you write well.

14/05/2011 at 19:58
Thank you gym'n'tonic' that really made me smile

As for the run not so good - went out way too fast then struggled with my asthma. Stopped 3 times wheezing then took a short cut home.

Just realised I've spent so much time feeling sorry for myself today I haven't had anything to drink either.

Never mind I kind of feel better for having tried and I'm going to try hard not to get too worried about it. I'm going to run a slow 12 miles tomorrow and see how that goes before I get too worried. (Will also think about a reward for getting out there tomorrow - good idea *Frodo*)

So not quite a happy ending ... but maybe half a demon beaten!
14/05/2011 at 20:10


Yes do not forget to look out for your physical needs:



Being pampered rotten, that sort of thing.

14/05/2011 at 20:11
Well done
We probably should have guessed it wasn't going to be easy, first runs back rarely are - let's hope you find more of a stride tomorrow
14/05/2011 at 20:18
"Being pampered rotten" is that available on prescription Big David?

Thanks for the support *Frodo*
14/05/2011 at 20:20
If you are looking to take your mind of things, there are loads of us over on the Eurovision thread being very silly
14/05/2011 at 20:30
I'm lurking
14/05/2011 at 21:00

I think that in these times of financial constraint the health service is unlikely to support pampering someone rotten as economically sound expenditure.

Still you could always try

15/05/2011 at 15:07

Can I give you a virtual hug & say "Ditto" to what everyone else has said, SOLB?

Pre-Race wobbles are horrible, I hope you managed to get out for a run today & came back feeling more positive.  Bar of choc, soak in the bath & a smug grin?

15/05/2011 at 23:54
Thank you ickle - I didn't run today, I think the world got on top of me a little bit.

I'm going to dust myself off and do the 12 miles before work tomorrow (cos I don't start til 12 not because I'm dedicated enough to run at dawn)

Everyone thanks so much for your support - how are you all feeling?
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