Get Mentally Fit for Race Day with Three Simple Tips

We’ve all been there OR are planning to be there. The starting line at an important “A” race for the season. Maybe it’s the starting line of your FIRST race. Maybe it’s a trail run you’ve been wanting to try and have NEVER run this course before. Regardless of what type of race, distance, perceived difficulty it will be or how much doubt is swirling in your head…try these three steps to slow & calm yourself down on race morning.


DEEP BREATHING – This one is a classic for a reason – it works! At whatever point feels best to you on race morning (before the start, right when you’re stretching or setting up or after a quick chat with friends) – take at least 90 seconds to two minutes (or longer if you’d like) and take FIVE deep breathes. Focus on good deep breathing, pause for 1 second and then exhale with a bit of forcefulness and purpose.

PROJECT YOUR INTENTIONS- Visualization is HUGE for anything in life, especially a race event. Picture & project what it’s like getting out of the water (if you’re doing a triathlon) or what running for the first mile vs the 4th mile will feel like. Imagine yourself stopping at the aid station to catch your breath or grab a drink of electrolyte tea. Maybe a bathroom break. Imagine how these things will go with ONLY a positive outcome. These small pictures in your mind help you do things without a ton of focus. Visualize a good race morning and it will unfold this way for you.

LOSE THE LUMP- The only person that puts doubt in your mind is you. The “lump in your stomach” was put there by YOU. Not your friends, family, coworkers, boss, neighbor – no one else has actual control of the fear & doubt IN your mind. Kick it out on race morning by being kind to yourself, focusing on positive aspects of the race and race day and know that you are prepared and strong enough to complete your goals.