Training for a run has a big impact on your racing performance. Prepping your body for a race is only half the battle. Most people overlook the mental preparation that can make life during training Bulk up your mental reserve now so you can tap into it on race day and make it to the finish line —here’s is our 3 tips to get your brain ready.
- Run for Reason;
The biggest mental mistake you can make as an athlete is to tie what you’re doing to your own self-worth. Measuring success by whether you hit a certain time or milestone builds up negative pressure from the start. When you begin training, instead of a results-based goal, set a more self-fulfilling one, like trying to improve your fitness. On days when you’re struggling, push yourself by remembering the reason you’re running.
- Exchange positivity for performance -focus cues;
Focusing on something that has more mental lift: what your body feels like. Anytime you realise you’re having a good run, think about why that is: Are your shoulders relaxed? Are you running light on your feet? Did you find a good rhythm? Pick your favourite. Then, when you’re in the middle of a long run and begin to lose momentum bring your attention back to keeping your shoulders relaxed or whatever your cue is. This will physically improve the way you’re running, and that will translate into a better mindset by keeping your focus on performance factors that you can control.
- Seeing is believing:
Stressing about a difficult course or hard climbs will do little to help you through it. Instead, if the race is nearby, run the parts that intimidate you ahead of time. The key is to pay attention to the surroundings with all your senses and pick out visual markers. Make markers a source of positivity, strength, or just a visual cue for how much farther you must go. Sit down before the race and visualise running the hard section and seeing your markers. You’ll build it into your proactive brain that you’ve done this before.
Have any tips of your own? Feel free to share them here.