If you’ve been training for a big race, then it’s normal to feel pre-race nerves.
But your pre-race nerves don’t have to get the best of you.
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Let’s dive into the 4 ways you can calm your pre-race nerves.
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4 SIMPLE WAYS TO CALM YOUR PRE-RACE NERVES
If you’re stressed out…
When your heart is racing, or your stomach is in knots, you might believe you’re not coping well with pre-race nerves.
But what if you viewed these physical signs differently? 1 That your body is energized and is preparing you to meet the challenges of your race?
In a study conducted at Harvard University, participants rethought their stress and physical discomfort as helpful—that it’s prepping you for action.
Those who thought their physical symptoms as helpful were less stressed, less anxious, and more confident.
If you have pre-race nerves, remember this. You might be less stressed, less anxious, and ready to run when you believe your body is helping you rise to the challenge.
If you HAVE to hit your time goal…
Time goals are important. But putting pressure on yourself to meet it, creates a lot of pre-race nerves.
Instead, count to 10.
This may seem too simple but here’s the deal.
You can only think about one thing at a time. So if you’re counting, you’re not thinking about your time goal. You’re taking your mind off of it.
Worried about not meeting your time goal? Shift your focus and start counting.
If you’re not sure you’re going to finish…
We’re never sure whether we’re going to finish a run in training or racing.
But on race day you have two advantages you don’t have in a regular training run: fresh legs and adrenaline.
You most likely reduced your running volume before your race. So instead of running on fatigued legs, you’re rested and ready to go.
And there’s nothing like race day, where crowds gather to cheer on runners. Soak up the energy and excitement to boost your adrenaline and help you through the end.
If you feel like you’re not a runner and don’t belong here…
It’s not unusual to feel as if you don’t have any business doing a race.
Even experienced runners feel this same way:
“I lined up in a race, and the destructive thoughts began: “You aren’t good enough to be here. You have never run as fast as her. You have no chance.” – Kara Goucher, Strong
But you can turn these thoughts around in two ways.
1// Keep an awesome run file. It’s too easy to be hard on yourself. But before you beat yourself up, read through your awesome run file.
And if you don’t have one, this file is your place to track your running wins—the time when you nailed your paces, or when you finished a run strong.
Any time you’re facing pre-race nerves, let your list of awesome runs remind you of two things: you did the training (so yes, you are a runner) and you’re ready.
Need a great runner’s journal to jot down your thoughts? This inspiring journal will guide you through everything you need to boost your mental strength before a race.
2// Use a mantra. Mantras are a series of power words you choose to help calm your pre-race nerves. (You might also like this post on finding the best running mantra for you.)
Helpful tip: You might want to use the word ‘you’ in your mantra. Did you know that using ‘you’ in a mantra boosts your running performance? 2 This word switch separates you from your emotions. It’ll be almost as if your best friend was cheering you on throughout the race.
Try this mantra: If you run, you’re a runner.
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Your pre-race nerves don’t have to get the best of you. Instead, remember these 4 tips when you’re facing pre-race nerves.
1// If you’re stressed out, believe your body is helping you rise to the challenge.
2// If you have to hit your time goal, shift your focus and count to 10.
3// If you’re not sure you’re going to finish, remember that race day has two advantages: fresh legs and adrenaline.
4// If you feel like you’re not a runner and don’t belong here, think about your awesome runs and try this mantra: If you run, you’re a runner.