Keys for mentally preparing for race day

As I have been preparing for my half marathon this weekend, I thought about all my preparation strategies. One in particular that you don’t really think about and can have a huge impact on the outcome of the race is preparing mentally. At times, this preparation goes hand in hand with the physical preparation of running numerous miles and hitting the gym on a weekly basis. You see, our minds are very powerful and any self doubt can hinder our performance from daily life to running a race. Let’s look at some ways that help me mentally prepare for an upcoming race.

One way I like to prepare for the race is to review the course. I do this for a number of reasons. First, is to know how “fast” the race will be. Every race has different “obstacles” such as hills, bridges, turns, etc. Each can impact how quickly you are able to finish a race. I keep this in mind when mentally preparing for race day. Also, I use the course layout to find markers within the course to know if I’m on track or when to begin to push towards the finish line!

Another great way I mentally prepare is through positive visualization. I go through the race in my mind, visualizing myself finishing the race successfully. I think about the good things that will happen on race day. This can help relieve any doubts, not feeling prepared, or the dreaded “what if’s”. Train positive, think positive, and get positive results. sunset-summer-golden-hour-paul-filitchkin.jpg

Preparing for a race properly takes a lot of dedication and time. Most of the preparation is done through training, running, eating right, and adequate rest. However, you must not over look the importance of mental preparation. Mental preparation is what can allow you to overcome those boundaries you subconsciously set for yourself. When you are half way through the race and thinking about quitting, the preparation will give you the mental strength to continue on!

Running is a mental sport (I know this all to well). Each mile in the race presents a different challenge, but I learned to take each race mile by mile and keep moving forward!

I’ll be running in the Houston Half Marathon this January. Anyone else running in this or another race soon? If so, share in comments below!