Race day jitters, I feel my body start to tense just thinking about them.
I don’t know about you but I get them before every race.
The worst though is when those feelings sink in a few days before the race.
You have to live multiple days with that feeling, it’s all you can think about.
I’ve experienced it too many times to count.
And I can say, I never benefited from those feelings.
They are draining, all consuming, and psych me out of performing my best.
Before a race
Now, a few days before the race, I ask friends and family to not bring it up.
I journal, I meditate, I pray, and I visualize my success daily leading up to the race.
I do my best to keep a similar routine, training obviously slows down that week so I always plan extra things during my week to keep my mind off of the event.
A few things I remind myself during the week.
- You’ve put in the work, it’s done. It’s time for the fun part.
- It’s just a race, you against you.
- I get to do this. I’ve been on the other side where I’ve had to watch everyone else do it while I was on bed rest.
- Regardless of the outcome, it doesn’t change who you are or what you’ve accomplished.
PR tip 1: The less stress you put on your body and mind, the more recovered and ready you will be to conquer those goals.
oh man, the big day. You pull up to the parking lot, it’s probably still dark out, all you can see are green and yellow reflectors from the sea of runners out there.
They all have their matchy running outfits on, their gear, and they are in the ZONE.
PR Tip 2: You may not feel like you belong, that’s a lie you’re telling yourself. You trained, you signed up, you belong just as much as anyone else. You don’t have to fit in to do the thing. Stand out and show them how capable you are.
I remember, the last trail race I did, I felt like everyone was staring. I don’t look like a long distance trail runner, I have thick thighs my friends, and I was rocking a muscle tank because I got muscle and I’m proud of it.
I was trying to convince myself at first by over analyzing that I didn’t belong, my legs were too heavy, I wouldn’t make it, Who am I to be out here.
A friend quickly helped me shut that sh*t down.
Talk with friends, go through your head why you’re grateful to be there, compliment someone, embrace the scenery, enjoy every single minute of it and ignore the rest.
During the race
3, 2, 1, …. GO! You’re off, the race has started.
The hype in the beginning is an incredible feeling.
PR Tip 3: Stick to your plan – don’t let the energy in the beginning of the race make you start off faster than you intended.
If anything, go a bit slower in the beginning. Let the excitement and adrenaline come down, and then adjust.
Again,You will feel good, you will feel like your pace is too slow, you will want to push it, see what you got, DON’T!
As soon as that feeling wears off, you will feel like you just got hit with a ton of bricks, your legs and your body will be angry. Not only that, you risk bonking or having to change your game plan because you went out too hot.
It’s a common mistake so don’t feel bad if it happens, just know. There is a better way.
It’s time to put all that hard work to the test, let’s see you crush this race!