Endurance racers, how do you feel at the start line of your race? Are you filled with excitement and gratitude or do you find yourself feeling nervous? Some nervousness is natural, you want to perform well, which can be a “positive stress”. Your race start mindset and strategy is key, it helps set the tone of your race.
Here’s a great way to start your race, begin with a positive and strong mindset and remain in the present moment. This strategy is for the start line and for the front portion of the race, especially as you get comfortable and settle into a pace. As you are doing your pre-race activities, it is good to take a moment to reflect on your race training strengths and previous successes. Successes can come from training or races. Reflecting and reminiscing will increase feelings of gratitude and reinforce that positive and strong mindset. You made it to the event, it’s something to be proud of and should be celebrated. Enjoy your race!
Acknowledge nervousness and any other emotions, but focus should be in the present, right where you’re at. Don’t stress over a potential problem until it happens. Rest in knowing that you should be able to solve it when it occurs because of your previous experiences in training and racing. You are knowledgeable! We also need to be able to practice our approach to dealing with things outside of our control, in life and in racing. Thinking should be flexible. Flexible thinking examples: seeing something from a few different perspectives, having two or more possible solutions, or being non-judgmental of our thoughts and emotions. Returning to addressing the worries of potential problems, remind yourself that there are race volunteers, crew and pacers who can lend a hand. You can handle it, you can take care of it.
Start your race on the right foot, with gratitude, knowing what you do well, how you can use your problem solving skills, and staying present. Thrive off of connecting with your body, the race environment and other athletes. Own your mindset.