There’s nothing quite like toeing the line on race day.
The excitement and electricity in the air are often palpable.
And for a lot of runners, the nerves are a little bit frayed on race day as well.
This is especially true for those that are new to running.
If you let them, your nerves can get the best of you and ruin your race.
So how do you keep the nerves at bay?
Nerves are Normal
If it’s your first race, or your first time running a longer distance, the nerves/anxiety that you experience as the start of the race approaches is fairly normal.
You’re not the first runner to be a bit nervous on race day, and you’re not going to be the last one either.
All the nerves really mean is that you’re a human being with a pulse.
Handling the Nerves
Just because a case of the nerves might be normal, doesn’t mean they are easy to deal with.
If you find yourself feeling anxious as the race approaches, here are a couple of suggestions to make them a bit more manageable.
Embrace The Nerves
Instead of viewing the nerves as a bad thing, why not flip the script and see them as a good thing?
Why are you nervous?
Most likely it’s because you’re doing something that scares you a little bit.
That you’re doing something that is outside of the norm for you. Something that is forcing you to step outside of your comfort zone.
Well, guess what?
The only way to grow is to leave your comfort zone.
So the fact that you’re feeling the nerves means that you’re about to grow.
And that is a good thing!
Trust Your Training
Hopefully, you are prepared for your race.
If you’ve been following a good training plan, either one you have created yourself or one that was created for you, you are more than likely physically prepared to cover the distance that is in front of you.
Think back on your long runs leading up to the race, and draw confidence from those experiences.
Trust the work that you’ve done, and it won’t let you down.
Stick to Your Routine
As near as you can, stick to your routine!
Whatever you typically do for a warm-up before your run, do that.
What do you normally eat the night before your long runs? Before your long run?
Do those same things.
Even if this is your first time running a certain distance or going for a big PR, it’s not your first time running.
And familiarity helps us to feel comfortable and to be able to relax.
While the race itself may be uncharted territory for you, try to keep everything else as close to routine as possible and you might be able to relax a little bit.
Just Get Started
Still struggling with your nerves a little bit?
Get in the corrals and start the damn race!
Once you get going, probably within a mile or two, you’ll burn through the nervousness and settle into the race.
Why? Because even though it’s a race running is still running.
Do You Tend to Get Nervous Before a Race? How Do You Handle Your Nerves?
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