Mental Prep for Racing

Training for a race is hard work. The training life is filled with moments of fatigue, recovery and improvement followed by a regeneration period. It is a cycle involving long hours, many sacrifices and the willpower to endure physical as well as mental exhaustion.

In order to complete this cycle over and over again, year after year, the competitive runner must develop certain characteristics.

Build Confidence in Yourself

Preparing yourself through dedicated training and erasing all negative thoughts and doubts about your abilities will build the confidence you need to race your best. Know your strengths, and work on improving your weaknesses. Set a goal, work toward it and believe that when the day comes and you await the call, “runners on your mark,” you know you will race well.

Motivate Yourself

The drive to succeed is what is called, motivation. Whether you are seeking recognition and praise from others or are racing because you love it and want to do well — or a combination of both — taking pride in what you do will keep you enthusiastic through your training program.

Control Your Competitive Aggressiveness

Aggressiveness in running will be in the form of a sudden, powerful surge in pace that is maintained for a long period in order to compete with a partner. There’s a time and place for aggressive behavior. It is important to avoid burnout by being too aggressive during training sessions. Reserve aggressiveness for the race day when it is most needed.

Relax and Limit Fear and Stress

A certain amount of fear is essential in keeping you alert and focused. But when the fear takes on the form of anxiety, confidence will lag, and mental exhaustion takes its place.

Always maintain a positive outlook. Think of feeling great about yourself and your accomplishments after the race. If you work on your weaknesses you will slowly eliminate your fears.

Take a lot of time to warm up, and pump yourself up. Remember, it’s not worth doing, if you don’t enjoy it.

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