Mental illness and running

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.


  • 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?
  • SunluvvaSunluvva ✭✭✭

    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

  • 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 image
  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    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.

  • 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. 

  • 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 image

    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.
  • Loon.Loon. ✭✭✭

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

     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.


  • 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
  • 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 image
  • Hope the run goes well solb.

    just read yr link - you write well.

  • 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!
  • Hi SOLB

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



    Being pampered rotten, that sort of thing.

  • Well done image image
    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 image
  • "Being pampered rotten" is that available on prescription Big David?

    Thanks for the support *Frodo*
  • If you are looking to take your mind of things, there are loads of us over on the Eurovision thread being very silly image
  • I'm lurking image
  • 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 tryimage

  • 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?

  • 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?
  • For runners health is main concern, For reducing the depression Pilates exercise is playing the important. In Pilates exercise only the muscle required for particular activity is use while the rest should stay as relax. In this way relaxation of the body is selective as we only engage muscles that are needed. This technique can be employed to maintain the stress and strain on the body. . No medicine is help to reduce the stress but Pilates movement helps to reduce the stress. It also help to increase energy, improve circulation and range of motion, and strengthen the spine improving flexibility which promotes recovery from injury.
  • PHEW made it, 12 miles done - that's the last proper run before the marathon on Sunday. My fitness has suffered pretty badly and I was running a whole minute and a half slower per mile than before ... I ache a bit where usually I'd have barely noticed the run. Maybe I should be feeling rubbish but I'm feeling pretty happy instead.

    It's going to be slow but I'm going to make it - that's what this marathon was all about. They'll be other marathons to run fast, this one is just about beating the demons and crossing the finish line and I feel more determined than ever that they will not win.

    Mariya it's good to hear that you've found something to help with stress (although sorry you needed help in the first place - it must have been difficult for you) I've never tried Pilates, perhaps I'll give it a shot. image

    Thanks everyone
  • she_of_little_brain wrote (see)

    PHEW made it, 12 miles done - that's the last proper run before the marathon on Sunday.

    I'm feeling pretty happy.

    It's going to be slow but I'm going to make it - that's what this marathon was all about. They'll be other marathons to run fast, this one is just about beating the demons and crossing the finish line and I feel more determined than ever that they will not win.

    image Whoop-whoop - well done, SOLB image

    (I picked out the important bits for you image)

  • image *Frodo* thank you so much for that ... Now why oh why don't I have a mini *Frodo* living in my head along with the spiteful voices? I'd be so much happier with all that sage, supportive and positive advice skipping through my head ... perhaps I'll have to use 'now what would *Frodo* say' this week!

    I think the Thanks was pretty important too - can I add that bit back in please?

  • I am probably not going to be able to run the marathon after all that.

    My twin sister was diagnosed with a rare heart defect today. As we are identical it is very likely that I have a hole between the two ventricles too.

    Unfortunately the breathlessness on exertion, the fainting, the blue fingernails when running, exhaustion, declining performance and arrhythmia all add tot he likelihood of me having the disorder.

    The consultant cardiologist has told me I cannot run at all (let alone the marathon) until I've had an echo. Unfortunately they probably won't be able to schedule one until next week although he is doing his best.

    If I do have a hole in my heart and I run the marathon I am risking sudden death (and will have been doing for every long run I've already completed, each one probably making the hole slightly bigger)

    I have my fingers crossed that the consultant is able to squeeze me in and that my heart turns out to be normal after all.
  • Fingers crossed x x x
  • (((SOLB and sister))) as Sarah said, hoping for a positive outcome for you both.
    Very best of luck x
  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    Bloody hell SOLB, when you're luck's out it really is a long way out.

    It's not a condition I know anything about, what effect it has on lifestyle or how it can be treated, but clearly you need to get to the bottom of it. Very sorry to hear about your sister.
  • Hi all
    I'll pass on the hug to my twin sister - she is still pretty poorly however she is stable now. She will be in hospital for at least another three weeks.
    I managed to get an echo. I can run if I run slowly and keep my heart rate down. The registrar is not happy with me running but he hasn't completely banned it either.
    I have a cardiology appointment next week (it usually takes months to come through) so that should tell me a bit more about what's happening.
    I am going to try to run the marathon but to go into it fully prepared to both run slowly and drop out if I am feeling ill.
    I'll have to be good because I'm looking after my sisters little girl while she is in hospital. My niece is gorgeous and naughty and 3 - I'll have a great time hanging out with her, we are very good friends but I am really struggling with worrying about my sister.
    Sarah, Frodo thanks for the luck. JT141 correct my luck tends to hover somewhere around the horizon - I sometimes catch a glimpse but it doesn't stick about for long!
    Oh well - at least I get to prove to myself I am determined and stronger than I think I am.
    Please keep your fingers crossed for Sunday (and for SOLBsis)
  • SOLB
    You and your twin are in my prayers.

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