Pre-race nerves can get the best of us.
Maybe you’re checking race day weather every hour.
Maybe you keep thinking about that workout that really didn’t go as planned.
Maybe you’ve packed and re-packed your race gear 15 times.
Let’s face it, pre-race nerves can have us all acting anxious and out of the ordinary.
You’ve put in the hard work of training for a race, but now that race day is approaching, you find yourself getting more and more nervous. So I’ve put together these tips to calm your pre-race nerves.
Whether it’s your first race or your 50th, it’s normal for doubts about your race to creep in.
Of course you’re thinking about your goals, but you’ll also be thinking of race logistics, like timing chips and bibs, cut-off times, pace groups, nutrition, weather and race gear…
Even if you don’t consider yourself a competitive runner or triathlete, you’ve got these thoughts running through your mind in the days leading up to your race.
Pre-race nervousness and anxiety is normal and is actually a good thing!
You’ve spent months training for your race, so no matter how you look at it, it’s an investment of your time and effort as well as an investment in the cost of sports nutrition, clothing, gear, and coaching. If you weren’t at least a little bit nervous, then I’d be worried for you.
The important thing to remember is not to let the nervousness run away from you. Don’t let it take over.
Pre-race nervousness is a sign that this is important to you. It’s a sign that you’re focused on an important goal.
Tips to Calm Pre-Race Nerves:
Take a deep breath.
Taking a few slow, deep breaths will help lower your heart rate, which can calm you down and increase the feeling of relaxation.
Focus on what you’ve done to prepare, not what went wrong.
We all hit a few bumps in the road, focus on the workouts that went well.
Don’t obsess over what’s out of your control. Instead, think about what you can control.
Your pace, hydration, and fueling are all thing you have control of. Weather is not controllable.
Instead of worrying, do something.
If the weather changes, then plan your gear accordingly.
Do an activity or hobby that will keep you preoccupied. Why not do some knitting, carving, or read a good novel?
Relax and have fun.
Think of the race as a running tour of the town you’ll be racing through. It’s your reward for all the hard work you’ve put in.