Think Right, Race Right!
Here are our top ten tips to help you manage the day.
1. Visualise and feel yourself performing well
Long before you reach the start line, practice visualisation. Imagine the event clearly in your mind, right down to the detail such as, what you are wearing. Learn the route and visit parts of it if you can. What’s the environment, weather, support and the mood like. Visualise yourself at the start, during and end. Calm and composed, performing well, finishing strong and jubilant. Tune in to how it feels to perform really well throughout using the experience from your training.
2. Keep your thoughts simple, positive and powerful during your run
It’s easy to criticise yourself for not being at a key marker when you expect to be but its important to keep positive. The mind is so powerful and is absolutely the difference between falling short and finishing strong. So if you find that you are thinking negatively at any point, switch to encouraging thoughts. How can I recover my pace? What do I need to do to get to the next mile? Draw from the crowds supporting you.
3. Focus only on the goal
Focus on executing the plan to achieve the goal. Don’t write the review of your performance until it’s over. Do your best to stay in the moment and resist the urge to criticise the past or stress about the future.
4. What to do when things get tough
Through your training you have been building mental toughness by repeating something difficult over and over again. Constantly pushing outside of your comfort zone. This is especially so on an ‘off day’ and we all have those! This is the all important part of your training that will strengthen you. So make it a rule that if you have a scheduled run, that you will push through it when you least feel like it, when you’re not feeling your best (unless injured or sick of course) and keep moving forward. You’ll be glad you did. When it comes to race day you will know you can get past anything.
5. Turn nervous energy into positive excitement
If you’re feeling nervous before the start of your event, it’s a good thing. You care about what you are about to do. Don’t doubt yourself, relax, stay positive and channel any nervous energy into excitement for your run and what you are going to achieve.
6. Start right
If you’re really excited you may go out too fast which may affect your overall performance. Watch your pace carefully through the first mile or two, practice in training how you will start (and finish) so you know you won’t get caught up in the excitement.
7. What’s your body language saying?
Holding a confident posture can increase feelings of power, fake it if you’re not feeling it, it will make a difference!
8. Review your progress
Reward the good things and make improvements where necessary.
After each training session ask yourself, What was good? What can I improve? What changes can I make to become my best?
9. Focus only on your strengths
Have a long term memory for success and a short term memory for failure. In other words, do not dwell on failures or unsatisfactory performances. Focus on all the positive aspects of your training and take this with you into race day.
10. Enjoy yourself
You’ve done all the hard work in your training. You know you’ve got this in the bag. Relax and soak up the atmosphere, take it all in and enjoy the occasion for what it is. When it’s done, be sure to celebrate your amazing achievement.