Being nervous ahead of a big race is perfectly normal, here are a few tips from Nandini Reddy to breath easy.
You will be anxious before the big race. You want to give it your best and you want meet your performance goals. It is perfect fine to feel a bit queasy before the race. But don’t let the anxiety affect your performance. Here are a few things you can do to calm your nerves and run your best race.-
Follow a pre-race routine
Every runner like you is anxious to get to the starting line and race forward the moment the flag drops, but this can be a bit disconcerting to most people. So don’t get into the starting line frenzy if its not your scene. Do your stretches and warm yourself up for the race. Do not get into a panic by watching other runners, instead try to feed off the positive energy from runners around you.
When you are stressed deep breathing can calm you down. If you are getting jittery then step back to an area that is less crowded, close your eyes and take in deep breaths. You can also follow the yoga technique of alternating your breathing between your nostrils. This will make your gut feel better.This will get your primed to focus on your race.
Plug those Ears
Sometimes its always better to cut out the white noise around you during a race. Plug in your favourite music and sink into your own space of calmness. A lot of runners dislike listening to music but for many it has a calming effect and helps them focus better. Music can also lift your mood and make the run more fun.
Visualize your goal
Fear of failure is what causes most of the anxiety. You need to visualise that you will reach the finish line and in the goal performance times you have set for yourself. A good attitude will build confidence and you are more likely to finish the race.
You can’t control everything
There are factors you cannot control like the weather for example. If it rains on race day then it rains. There is nothing you can do about it so why should you stress. Other runners, weather patterns and even the course difficulty are not points that you can control so let it go and enjoy the race for what its worth. You certainly will feel more rewarded.
Remember that you trained to finish the race and not psych yourself out. Always remember that you can better your performance with every race.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.