Racing fast is all about slowing down. Let that sink in for a minute…
Did you take the full 60 seconds for it to sink in? If not, go back and try it again.
Many athletes (especially first time athletes) think racing fast is all about pacing, speed, max effort and a slew of other metric-driven data bits. While those are undoubtedly important during training and of course on race days, it’s not the end-all be-all to having a great day. Read on if you’re interested.
We talk a LOT about mental fortitude and focus on our web blog here. Why? Because event & race days aren’t just about PR’s and Podium spots – it’s also about the journey and experience. It’s about the mental game as much as the physical game.
Slowing down leading into race day and especially on race day can create a better experience overall for your mind, body and yes – spirit. Practice this in training and you’ll nail it on race day. Here are a few tips…
Focus on your breathe – pick any training session twice a week and really dial in your mental focus on your breathe. If you’re cycling outdoors, of course don’t ignore your surroundings, but make the session about your breathing – not just miles or HR.
- Project positivity – race days are filled with stress. It’s inevitable. Don’t add more stress into your life now by being anxious or fearful. Fear is 100% a choice – choose positivity and project this onto your mental vision of race day.
- Listen to an audiobook – yup, you read that right. Listen to an audiobook during your next long run. Music is great for motivation, but it can also spike your HR unnecessarily or get you too mentally fired up to settle into a sustainable rhythm.
- Spread kindness – find FIVE athletes on race morning (yes five) and offer them a hug for support OR a hug of gratitude that they are able to be there and race with you.
- BONUS TIP– Spread kindness with each training session as your race season comes into focus. If you’re out and about during training, offer a high five or a hug or just words of encouragement to just one other person you see on the trail or path. If you’re training at home, text a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in at least 30 days. Make it simple, but make it positive and grateful.
These tips can hopefully help you improve the “SLOW DOWN” to speed up plan. You’ll have a better mental focus on race day allowing your body to race at it’s potential.
It should be noted we are NOT medical professionals and that you should always seek medical advice from your health care provider. This post is NOT medical, health or explicit training advice.