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Keeping Your Mind After Losing Your Season

Photo credit: Syracuse Athletics

Hi, I’m Noah Beveridge. I went to Butler High School and I currently go to Syracuse University. Just like most people, I’m spending a lot time at home. COVID-19 is affecting everything right now. It cancelled the NCAA Division I outdoor track & field season, effectively ending my sophomore year of athletics.

With that being said, I am in “marathon” training and pouring on the miles.

When Ethan reached out for me to write for The Oval magazine, I didn’t know what to write about. I went back forth deciding whether or not to write about mental health. How I feel mentally is more of a factor to how I work out and race than my fitness level 95% of the time.

I started to get a better grasp on this around my junior year of high school, but I haven’t talked much about it.

Sometimes it is easy to talk about mental health but at times not so much. By no means am I an expert on mental health, but I know somethings that have helped me.

Meditation has been a huge help for me. I can get a racing mind pretty easily. I use the app Headspace. It helps me stay present and relax. I usually meditate for 5-10 minutes at a time. It’s nothing crazy where candles are lit and I’m sitting criss cross, but something simple yet meaningful. I usually just sit in a chair, or on my bed. I try and do it after I wake up and before I go to sleep but I don’t put too much pressure on it. I just do it when it feels right.

Being self-aware is something I am constantly trying to get better at. It might sound easy to do but that’s definitely not always the case. When it comes to workouts or races sometimes I get anxiety. I didn’t know how to cope or really even acknowledge my anxieties for a long time.

A little bit of nerves is good for me but sometimes it can get to the point where I dread a workout or race. Racing and working out are the fun parts but they can end up being sort of a negative thing.

When that happens to me, I just try and take a step back and relax. A bad workout or bad race is not the end of the world. Believe me, sometimes it feels like that. I want to be a great runner so badly that it hurts extremely bad when I underperform and miss my goals or things do not go my way.

A bad workout or bad race is not the end of the world. Believe me, sometimes it feels like that.

Going to workouts or races with high anxieties or with a negative attitude has never helped me. When you’re confident and happy, it’s a lot easier to push through the hurt and focus in on the parts of the race or workouts that you need to and want to.

Social media and screen time are vitally important. I don’t think social media and screen time are bad but too much of it doesn’t help. I’m on Instagram, Snapchat and twitter all the time. It’s a habit I’ve had for a long time. I play a lot of Xbox and I have no plans of stopping.

These won’t be things I take out of my life, but I know I feel better when I am conscious of what I’m doing. If I go to refresh Instagram and then refresh Twitter and cycle back into its mindless scrolling, I realize there’s no real reason to do that besides boredom. I try to do something else and put my phone away for a bit.

Some days I can get pretty caught up on TFRRS, Flotrack, Stride Report and other running sites. I’m a huge fan of the sport, so it’s easy to read, but it’s not always healthy. When you’re comparing yourself to other runners and thinking about running all day, it usually doesn’t lead to good things.

When I’m conscious of my screen time and what I’m focusing my energy on, I often feel a lot better.

Hopefully some of this can be useful and helpful. Taking care of your mental health is not something to be ashamed of. I’ve had talks with people I think very highly of and runners who I respect and look up to.

They have similar anxieties and deal with the same type of issues that everyone else does. My advice is to find out what works best for you and to evaluate what’s bothering you, and definitely don’t brush it away.


1500m: 3:48.76

3k: 8:10.84

5k: 14:15.92

10k (XC): 29:56.6

Read Noah’s training log here

Follow Noah on Twitter and Instagram

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