Beat Your Running Fears

Whatever your running fears, we'll help you take control and conquer them one-by-one

by Bob Cooper

running fears
Picture credit: Ryan Heshka

What are your running fears? Injury? Hitting the wall? When the anxiety monster rears its ugly head, here's how to beat it - or even make it work for you.

Beat your racing fears.

Beat your training fears.

Beat your health fears.

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Discuss this article

I live in Zimbabwe and am aged 55.    Eight months ago I had had enough of looking in the mirror thinking 'damm I'm getting fat, old and decidely middle aged' so decided to do something about it.

I started running and now am up to 4 to 5kms a day and loving it!  I lived for a while in a big game area of Zimbabwe, so for safety I often had to get my husband to follow me in the car, as quite often I ran past herds of grazing elephants, zebra's, buffalo's.  Lions are also a real threat - I could be a tasky easy meal running right past them as they rest up under bushes alongside the road. 

On one occassion,  I was pounding along, when I rounded a bend in the road only to be confronted by a irritated bull elephant who charged at me! My husband looked so surprised as I came beetling back towards and straight past the car (he had gone into bored/daydream mode and hadn't even seen the elephant).  I never realised until then just how fast I could actually run! - it was a medal winning sprint!

Every run I do is a marvelous adventure in beautiful Africa!  Oh, and guess what I have dropped two dress sizes and am feeling good about myself! 

Posted: 24/01/2012 at 11:41

Beats being heckled by hoodies and chased by staffordshire bull terriers I suppose.
Posted: 24/01/2012 at 12:32

I'm sure there's a film script there Kim! Keep on running.
Posted: 24/01/2012 at 12:49


Not sure what to believe here but well done if that really is true! Lol!

Posted: 24/01/2012 at 13:26

I was running up to 5 miles every other day then on a weekend doing 10 miles and i did the GNR in 2010 then all of a sudden i just didnt go out and now i couldnt run to save my life!!! I keep telling myself it wont take long to get back to fitness but i cant bring myseldf to do it even though i have now gained 2 stone!!! Help 
Posted: 24/01/2012 at 17:06

@ WJH yes I am sure my story sounds like I made it up but I promise you it is very real and in fact there is quite a few other really good runners in this town called Kariba. They hold a half marathon and at the same time a 10km fun run in August. It is great fun! Last year the organisers had to keep shoo'ing away an old bull ellie who wouldn't budge as the runners ran past him lol. Here's a link on FB to the event.

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 08:06

Come on Linda I know you can do it. Even it you run to the end of the block and back to start - it is a run an a start and your mind will ease off beating itself up about not doing it!
Posted: 25/01/2012 at 08:13


Ok fair play - I did wonder at first but keep it up...sounds really impressive! And like Linda...I need to build myself back to the level I was a few years ago!  

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 13:34

ooh, I know what you mean linda, but like kim says, start out small? maybe do an interval session? walk a minute, run a minute, walk a minute and so on - do that for 15 mins, just to get back out there! you'll be back to GNR level in no time but it's always the first step that's the hardest - so make it an easy one!
Posted: 05/02/2012 at 19:03

Take those first few steps and while the view may not be as exciting as Kim's the exhiliration after will be its equal. You can do it. As for those who attempt to mock from the comfort of cowardly anonimity - what sad creatures.
Posted: 08/02/2012 at 09:58

used to live in Que Que myself and now live in the Uk. I was not frightened at all by snakes scorpions would even catch them but now I have no bushcraft qualities at all and i cant run barefoot anymore as my feet have gone soft lol. Hope you achieve your final goal

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 07:53

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