It is 4am and the race start is at 7! Freak out!!
No. Stop. This blog will help you to remain in control to achieve the race experience that you want!
I have ran 93 marathons and countless races and I have had my moments of anxiety and panic attacks over the years. With experience I have learned to remain calm.
1) Know race start and finish points:
Easy enough, but make sure you know where to go in the morning and at the finish. Make sure to allow EXTRA time to get to the start! At least an hour before is my rule of thumb. Know this the night before.
2) Stash extra TP for long lines- I have become great at finding bushes 10 minutes to race start - sure beats standing in line and less worry!
3)Be prepared with gear! I keep a race duffle at my home. It has all my race needs ready and packed- I just have to rotate clean race clothes and new GU into it before each race. ( keep extra- safety pins, socks, a hat and gloves, bobby pins, and chap stick- this can double as anti-chaf, hair stick, and ointment in a pinch).
4) BE confident. You have trained . Miles ran. Go do it. One leg after another . This is the best piece of advice I could ever give. POSITIVE thoughts. 80% of winning the race is knowing you can. Throw negative thoughts away as soon as they enter your mind. I coach people in my job ( behavioral psychologist), and I use the same strategies with my racing.
5) Use a mantra. This also helps to calm any worry! My favorites are "you got this", " just run", and " beast mode". Reciting these pre race and during will help you make it through rough patches of doubt - practice daily when you start to worry -take a deep breath, and recite your mantra.
6) Eat the same food. I cannot stress this enough. Bring a small cooler and baggies full of normal snacks. Try to eat basically your same diet, while adding simple carbs 2 days leading up to the race .
Bagels, toast, honey, GU Brew, pretzels, and peanut butter are great to add. Try to have the same GU ( my only brand I use is GU Energy) , with you on race day. Upset stomach worries are vanished with knowing your tummy will be calm.
Try to eat also a few hours before the race and not too close to the start.
My next blog will focus on specific race nutrition and great goods to fuel with.