We all have that zone that we need to get into either when we’re doing a difficult training workout or racing.. what do you do to get there?
Answers are going to vary from person to person, there are technically no “right” or “wrong” answers because different strategies work for different people. In my opinion, if it works, great! How effective is it? I think the more effective, the better.
Responses from runners
Runner: “I remind myself that the human body can do hard things. When it’s a long race (marathon), I get pretty nervous because I’m uncertain of what might happen on the course (side cramps, gut issues), however, there’s no doubt that I’ll finish, because there’s no other option for me.”
Shannon: That’s a good one. We can push our bodies to do very hard things, we’re not sure what our limits are. It’s our minds that we need to convince.
Runner: “YES!!! I’ve found that distance running is 90% mental for me.” 🙂
Shannon: 90% is a very common response. 🙂
Runner: “Pre-run, I look at all my Strava friends and give them Kudos. After that, I head out the door for my run.”
Shannon: We do receive benefits from doing something like giving Kudos and cheering on others, our brains release happy/feel good biochemicals like Dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin. Thanks for responding!
– Also, we’re likely to feel more motivated and inspired to dig in after we see that someone else completed their race/run/workout.
Runner: “Doing what makes me feel happy.”
Shannon: For sure! Life in general, being able to get out there and experience things. Living a full life, comes to my mind.
Runner: “I start jamming some Iron Maiden.”
Runner: “All it takes is showing up at the start.”
Shannon: Show up, YES. Show up prepared, when we know that we’re properly prepared, then there’s no doubt (or very little) that we’re ready for a good race.
Runner: “Preparation varies. Key is showing up with specific goals and strategy based on realistic self-assessment. Decide how much risk to take. You may feel confident or scared. Doesn’t really matter, that’s part of the equation. Then you execute.”
“I would also add, you want to take out uncertainty through contingency planning, so that you don’t start the event with anxiety about what ifs. Then you turn off the mind and go.”
Shannon: Love it. Thanks for the great response!
Runner: “Usually some Hatebreed or Streetlight Manifesto works for me!”
What’s my response?
What gets me pumped up and in that frame of mind to race is getting excited about having a good time. I have already trained and properly prepared for the event, now it’s time to test myself and enjoy it. I focus on enjoyment because I have already accepted (and prepared for) the fact that I’m going to eventually reach a point where I’m going to be uncomfortable and even suffer. The challenge is what makes it fun. If I already accepted this fact, then I’m ready. My mindset is that I know that this is going to be a long day, I will finish this race, I will keep moving, and I will have a good time.