Maranoia – how to keep calm before your event

‘Maranoia’ is a term used to describe the often irrational fear of not being ready for before a marathon. But it doesn’t need to be a marathon to drive anxiety. Maybe you’re tackling your first 5 or 10km and the worries begin:

  • I haven’t trained enough
  • I’m not ready
  • I can’t do this

It’s totally normal to feel this way ahead of the unknown, so it’s worth recognising that there’s nothing wrong with you by feeling this way. But you want to do your best to not allow doubt and self-sabotage creep into your final few days and weeks or preparation.

There’s a handful of ways you can manage maranoia, both physical and mental.


  1. Taper correctly. Ease off the training in the lead into your race. You want to shed that feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Freshen up and enjoy some time off exercise!
  2. Rest. Take it easy. You’ve done the hard work and, while sitting around twiddling your thumbs can leave more time for worry, try to enjoy it. Put things in your diary you’ve neglected while you’ve given more time to training. Catch up with mates, go for a coffee, spend more time with the kids.
  3. Sleep. Sleep is a huge factor in recovering from your training load, so don’t stay up late just because you’re not as physically tired (due to less training). You can’t get too much sleep, so bank it!


  1. Visualisation. As we talk through in this article, visualisation is important to keep maranoia in check. Visualising how you want a race to pan out and rehearsing every detail can really comfort the mind and increase confidence in your ability.
  2. See how far you’ve come. Honestly, take a good look at how far you’ve come. I’ll bet you’ve come a hell of a lot further than you initially think. Remember all those training sessions you didn’t want to do but got out there anyway and take confidence in the fact you’ve put the hard yards in. Now it’s all about enjoying the event.
  3. Ignore social media. There’s many benefits of social media, but it can also feed maranoia. It can be a place full of willy-waving “experts” who can leave you feeling deflated, insignificant and like you’re doomed to fail. Ignore it – you’ve got this!

Now you know how to deal with pre-race nerves, take a look at our family-friendly events and enter one today!