June 20 2016
One runner looks at why training your brain is just as important as training your legs.
1) Be prepared for any weather situation, but do not obsess about it. You cannot control the forecast, but you can be ready to handle anything mother nature throws your way on race morning.
2) On a blank sheet of paper, write out every hard workout you successfully completed since you started training for this race. When you start to feel anxious or doubt your abilities, look at the list to assure yourself that you did everything possible to get ready for race day.
3) Make sure you have everything you need for race day early in the week, so you don’t have to frantically look for anything the day of the race.
4) Don’t do anything new. Don’t eat something new. Don’t try a new workout class in your spare time. This means if you haven’t been doing yoga during your training, don’t go to a yoga class during the taper unless it’s a restorative class where you basically take a nap for an hour.
5) Visualize the race weekend of your dreams. When visualizing success, start with seeing yourself sleeping well, eating foods that make you feel good, having a seamless time picking up your bib at the expo and timing your arrival to your corral perfectly. Then start to visualize each step of the race.
6) Do not freak out. You’re ready for this and you know it.
7) Get some extra sleep when possible. If deep down you know you need sleep more than you need to work out this week, by all means sleep and skip your workout. Say WHAT?! Yes, this week sleep is more important than working out. Nothing good comes out of showing up to the start line fatigued.
8) Plan early. If you haven’t done this already, now is the time to make an itinerary for your race weekend. Even if you live two blocks from the start line, you should write out a step-by-step plan so that everything is already laid out for you. This will hopefully prevent you from forgetting anything, panicking or over-thinking. Write out a plan and then simply follow the plan. It may seem a bit ridiculous, but I promise it helps! Here’s a sample itinerary:
5:45 p.m.: Leave work.
6:15-7 p.m.: Pick-up bib at expo.
7:30 p.m.: Healthy dinner.
9 p.m.: Lay out everything needed for race day.
10 p.m.: Review race plan in bed + visualize the perfect race.
10:30 pm: Lights out.
6 a.m.: Shake-out run + foam roll.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Work.
6:30 p.m.: Early dinner.
7:15 p.m.: Double check race gear and weather forecast. Review race plan and how to get to corral.
8 p.m.: Foam roll.
9 p.m: Read in bed.
10 p.m.: Lights out.
5 a.m.: Wake-up,eat and drink water.
5:30 a.m.: Get dressed, pin on number, visualize the perfect race day.
6:15 a.m: Leave to walk over to start line.
6:30 a.m.: Baggage check.
7 a.m.: Get in corral.
7:45 a.m.: race: Start!
Related: Race Day Gear Checklist
9) Give your spectators a guide on where to be to cheer for you and where to meet you after the race. Let them know how to track you or if the race has an app for runner tracking. Also, let them know what you’ll be wearing so you are easier to spot.
10) Review the course map, your race strategy and fueling plan.
11) Think positive thoughts. You’ve done the work, there’s nothing more to do but run the race!