Stopping during a race

kevin70kevin70 ✭✭✭

Looking for some advice, over the past couple of years i seem to be stopping mid race and then stop starting to the finish. I have done the training leading up to the races but on the day it all goes wrong, pacing isn't and issue as it is happening early into the race. Any suggestions/ideas how I can get back to trying to race through the mental barrier. I get to the end of the race but the times don't justify the hard work put in.

Frustrated and looking for advice on getting out and running a race correctly. 



  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    Mentally prepare for the race to hurt from 2/3s distance (if you pace it right) and earlier if you haven't.  If you get to the end of a race without wondering if you should stop I would say you aren't pushing hard enough.  This probably changes if you are doing marathons and beyond.

    How long are the races you do?
  • HTFU.

    Don't stop. 

    God we all want to stop - but know we'll regret it later. Last marathon I was planning my abandon in mile 1 but never did and never have. 

    Do you trust in your training ? You say pacing isn't an issue. 

    Maybe try some parkruns to get used to 'racing' more often so you can practice your strategies and rebuild your confidence.

    Good luck with it.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Ha, Cougie, I've often made similar plans, even in shorter races. I remember one 10k during which I was really suffering after mile 2 and knew the course was about to get hillier – spent a while thinking about the logistics of pulling out (where I'd meet my partner, who was also running, and so on). After a good few minutes mulling this over, I realised I'd got beyond 3 miles, and the hardest bit of the course was behind me!

    I guess the moral of the above story is that mind games can be really helpful. Instead of thinking about how far the entire race is, can you try telling yourself 'just run for 1 more mile', then when you get there, 'just another mile' (or 'another few minutes')? I also find it helps to pick on someone else who's running at my preferred pace and follow them – enables you to switch off a bit.

    Do keep an eye on your pace at the beginning, too. Maybe you are going out too fast, even if you don't think you are – it's so easily done in races, as a lot of people do the same, and it's all too tempting to follow them, then regret it later. Sometimes it doesn't even feel that fast at first, as you're caught up in the atmosphere and the adrenaline is flowing, but a small increase in pace can make a massive difference!
  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    While we all appreciate brevity in a post, it would be more helpful if you stated the length and frequency of your races.

    If its an occasional 10K then I'm with Cougie - just get a grip and tough it out, but if its a marathon then we've all been there.

    So, a bit more detail might help, but not a swamppost please. 
  • kevin70kevin70 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for all you replies, it seems to happen in all races from 10k to marathon. I run approx 4 times a week 35mpw. Reps and tempo making up 2 days of the 4 days. On race day I struggle and have quit 4 marathons. So frustrated 10k pb 43.16 2016 & 1/2 mara pb 1.38.58. 2016. Fighting confidence after 2 miles.
  • Richard  2Richard 2 ✭✭✭
    you've got in a habit, you need to focus all your energy on breaking that habit in my opinion.

    forget times just focus on not stopping, marathons are bloody tough so don't feel bad about that.  Focus on a shorter race, 10 or even 5k to break the habit and build from there.

    Can you mentally break the race down into segments and build up the not stopping e.g. if your local park run is 3 laps can you start off not stopping on lap 1? then buold to la[p 2 and finally not stopping at all

    hope this helps
  • I think Richard has hit the nail on the head - it's all in yours - which isn't to say that it's an easy fix, the mind is a very powerful force.

    You could make the target of your next race to run the whole thing, no matter how slowly, so you have no excuse to let yourself walk or offer to pace a new/slower runner, maybe someone looking to break 60 mins for the 10k and make that your focus or make yourself accountable in a way that matters to you - I often ask myself if I really want to come on the forums and post a race report including the fact that I walked when I didn't have any real reason to do so.

    What makes you stop? Like Cougie it quite often crosses my mind to do so but then I run a little mental inventory - legs feel ok, breathing's ok, so why do you want to walk? - and it usually passes  :)
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Kevin those times are decent and your mileage is ok so you obviously in decent shape and say your not going out too fast so all I can think of is are you getting too nervous and worked up on race days , expending lots of mental energy ? Try thinking of races as just another training run as you seem to be training with no issues. Might help.
  • kevin70kevin70 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Nib1967, putting in some miles at moment but I think you are right. No races until September so i want to train during this time and tell myself on race day I have done the miles/training so go out and enjoy.
  • Good advice so far. 

    I'd use a race as training - so you don't go flat out - your goal is to get the miles in your legs. Just slowing a tiny bit makes the run that more enjoyable.

    And do you think you're going into the races tired ? You only do 4 sessions a week and 2 are hard - are the others easy enough ?
  • kevin70kevin70 ✭✭✭
    Cougie I'm usually running them at paces of 8.50-9.10 m/m. Going to look at a programme of mp runs/tempo runs up to 5 miles to get use to pace/effort to build up confidence on race days.
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