Running Towards Confidence

Last week, in my Pillars of Running Success post, I gave you the factors that make up the foundation of my running and give me what I think is the best chance at being successful.

In addition to the things I discussed last week, there are also a few things that play a part in moving me towards achieving my goals, but maybe they just aren’t constantly there for me to be able to fall back on.

One such thing that can play a huge part in my success, or in anyone else’s, is confidence.

Confidence is a funny thing. 

It can come and go with seemingly no warning signs or reasons. 

Also, it can stick around when maybe it shouldn’t. 

Honestly, I didn’t include confidence in my list of pillars because it isn’t something that I have always been able to rely on. When I was much younger, confidence was something that I struggled with regularly.

However, as time has gone on, and I have become more active and more comfortable with the things and people in my life, I am consistently more confident in myself than I ever have been. Of course, there are still times when confidence seems to go away for a period of time, but so far I’ve been successful at work my way through these periods.

In this post, I am going to focus on self-confidence and some of the ways that it can impact my running and maybe yours also.

Types Of Self-Confidence


To most people, overconfidence would be considered cocky or arrogant. Overconfidence can be best described as unwarranted confidence that comes from overestimating your own abilities or maybe from underestimating the task at hand. Neither of these would be considered good things because they will often lead to failure.

A lot of the time overconfidence comes from a situation where someone doesn’t have a lot of experience in what they are trying to do and they just assume that they are able to do it. No matter how experienced I become, I do my best to keep from becoming overconfident because I think it would negatively affect my training or the pursuit of my goals.

Fake It Until You Make It

This can be thought of ‘pasted on’ confidence. Acting like you are confident in your ability to do something until you are actually able to successfully achieve your goal. I have heard this one a lot over the years and not just in a running sense.

In an odd way, I actually think that there is a certain level of confidence in someone admitting publicly that they are faking it. The idea behind this is you can project yourself as being confident – in the ways you prepare or train or even how you talk about your running. By projecting yourself as confident, over time you could train yourself to actually be confident.

When it comes to running, I have always had to prove to myself that I can do something before I actually have the confidence that I can do it again!

Confidence Through Experience

While becoming confident through hard work and past experiences might take the longest to accomplish, it is also the most reliable type of self-confidence. I think the reason for this is because it is the only type that is based on something substantial. It gives you something to look back on and draw confidence from having been through it before. Once you have worked for something and achieved it, like running a marathon, you are able to be confident that you can do it again.

As you might see in some of my previous or future blog posts, I’ve worked harder and gotten better over the years at my running through a lot of hard work and learning from my mistakes. I know that I will most likely still make mistakes, but my experiences make me confident that I will continue to improve my running as time goes on.

For a long time, I would say that I just wasn’t confident in being able to do many things with running. As time has gone on though, and maybe because of those five pillars from last week, I can say that I am confident a lot of the time.

In many ways, having this blog and sharing my experiences has helped me to realize how much I’ve grown in confidence over the years.

I’d be interested to hear how much running has helped your confidence or how confident you are in achieving the running goals you have set for yourself!


  • I’m getting really excited for my upcoming races – the first one is in just over 2 weeks! Check out my post – A Return to Racing! – for my schedule of races over the next couple of months!
  • In the next couple of weeks, I will be posting my first entry in my series of racing-related posts. Some of my Racing Mistakes to Avoid came from my racing experiences that I’ll be sharing in this series of posts. Stay tuned for more details of what that first post will be and when I will be posting it!

2 thoughts on “Running Towards Confidence

  1. Another great post, Pat.

    Confidence is super important, and I’d say we all struggle with it sometimes. I like your point about confidence through experience and it being the most reliable type.

    It’s amazing the feeling you gain from just having done it before. Understanding the different situations your in, how to deal with anything bad that arises, and how to handle your training as well.

    Liked by 2 people

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