👀 Worried About Running in Public  👀

Running for the first time can be made all the more daunting when you have thoughts about other people seeing you. All of a sudden it doesn’t feel like such a good idea! Well you’re not alone here, nearly all new runners feel this way!

It’s completely normal to feel self-conscious when you embark on something new; you may be thinking you look too big to run or that you're far too slow but remember all runners were beginners at some point and most will have been anxious like this. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and all ages because it’s such an inclusive sport. Embracing the many positive aspects of running can quickly help you to overcome any fears. Tell yourself this is going to be worth it! It’s not just the health and fitness gains but it’s also the boost in your sense of wellbeing and your confidence. All these benefits outweigh the apprehensions you might feel, so try to focus your thoughts on these when you run. By confronting your fears, it’ll soon become easier. Take pride in your achievement and be proud of yourself. Most onlookers are decent people and will probably be wishing they had the get-up-and-go to do it themselves.

It may be worth considering running with other runners as the moral support can be all that’s needed when you start out. There are plenty of running groups out there  or you might know of a friend, neighbour or work colleague that already runs.

Remember it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a runner of many years you will probably encounter the odd bit of cat calling and the best response is to simply ignore it. Shouting back can often make matters worse. I prefer not to even acknowledge their existence and just continue running as if I’m blissfully unaware of them.

If you are concerned about running alone in public then you could also try a local parkrun. These are timed 5k runs every Saturday morning and are completely free. Find out more here 

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© 2018 Jo Pavey