Nerves before a race
OK so it’s normal to feel nervous before your race, especially if never done one before.
Iv had races where its been raining sideways in Feb.
Iv done races where its hills all the way.
Done a half marathon on no training (I was young and dumb) under 2hrs tho 😉
Ran and had to get into a canal and still do half the race soaked.
And raced where its been very hot.
All of these experiences have given me different highs and lows, but taught me to be strong mentally. At the end of the day its just a race.
So I have wrote a few points to help you feel a little easier on your race event.
1. Firstly let me tell you to always go to the loo before the race, even if you don’t feel you need to go, you will once the que is over. Don’t leave it to late either. Give about 20mins before the start at the latest to go and que, the line can be long and you don’t want to be rushing to start the race.
If the race starts at 9 30 I usually que at 9am.
2. Drink enough so your not starting the race dehydrated. Especially if your not carrying a water bottle around with you. You don’t want to be relying on the first water station to get you through. Dehydration is no joke and if your thirsty when you start your already dehydrated. I always carry water with me, I know some people don’t like to so take a bottle you can dispose of when started. Least that way you have hydrated before the race and can bin the bottle once started. The first drink station can easily be 3miles in.
3. Make sure you line up in the time you want to finish. I once got stuck behind slower runners and it was hard work trying to get past them and up to my pace. Starting off with faster runners can also cause you to go off too fast. Know your expected finish time and line up when they call you.
4. Don’t worry about the race, treat it as another training run. You have done all the hard work it’s now the time to reap the benefits. Mentally we don’t want to be worrying before we even go, strong mind, strong body.
5. Read the signs or look at the spectators on the way around to entertain you. Smile, wave, and high five ppl if you want. Make it fun, it doesn’t have to be gruelling. Why you running anyway? If your finding it hard, just take each mile at a time. I usually focus on getting to the first mile, then 5km, then it’s down hill there to 10k finish.
If I’m doing a longer run then 10k is my “half way” for half marathon (it’s not quite but it helps) then 10mile I’m in double figures, then only 5km to go!!
My father in law said once “I kept telling myself it’s just 5km, I just had over 5 of them to do in a row.”
Pick what works for you, don’t panic about the end when you have only just started. Break it down into smaller bareable chunks.
7. Pacers are there in some events to help you, if you want to stick with them. If not run your own race and go by feel. Ask yourself how your feeling or use a watch to pace yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if your slowing down, the main thing is you finish the race. You might be going up a slight incline therefore your pace will slow, but what goes up goes down so just relax.
8. Smile at the cameras – as we all know I love to try and smile for the camera or give a thumbs up. Why not? Makes me smile even tho I’m dying.
9. Think about the end, how good your going to feel once you have completed the race. That, if anything will help you reach the end. Mental preparation is so powerful. Use it.
10. Never use a new drink or gel etc on the day. You must always try them in training first. Some gels can cause tummy upsets, I once drank too much vipr drink (I had used it in training but just overdosed race day) and was sick half way around a half marathon. Know what works and what doesn’t for you before the day. If your unsure stick to water.
Enjoy your race!!
P.s Tie your laces in double knots, nothing worse than a shoe lace coming undone and having to stop to tie it up.