Your stomach turns in circles as you step up to the start line. Your mind wanders in every direction and you start to second guess yourself about running your race. Does this sound familiar?
Race-day jitters, it gets me every time on race day. Although I get race-day jitters each time I step up to the start line, I have been able to ease my anxiety with a few tips.
If you have race-day jitters, like me, then try these five tips to reduce your anxiety and enjoy your race.
Set a Reasonable Goal for the Race
If this is your first race or your first race at a new distance, a good goal is to just finish the race. Remember that your time will be your PR for that distance no matter what. You'll be able to improve your time in future races.??
If you want a slightly loftier goal, maybe try to shave 10 seconds per mile off your PR.
Run the Race With a Friend
Having a running partner will provide you with support and help ease your mind on race day. Talk with your running mate about anything to help you feel more relaxed. ??
Make a Gratitude List
Make a list before race day of all the things in your life and in running that you're grateful for. Recite this list to yourself as many times as you need to on race day. This idea may be a little outside your normal routine, but you'll find that it's extremely difficult to stay in a fearful state of mind when you're thinking about positive thoughts.
Use Running Mantras
Make a list of short, powerful and positive phrases that will help you overcome your fear. Use phrases like, "I'm strong"; "I've got this"; "I can do this"; "be brave" or "finish strong". Write out a list of mantras before race day and them use them if fear starts to creep up.
Talk to Other Runners
Fear usually happens before the race starts. One way to ease your anxiety is to talk to other runners. Many runners are quite social and don't mind chatting with others. In fact, it probably helps them ease their minds too. So start chatting away.?
Whatever race-day jitters you have, remind yourself that it's OK to be afraid. Everyone has anxiety. The point is to not let those fears stop you from living your life. So remember to just breathe and try these tips—you've got this.
Sign up for your next race.