Our minds can be our biggest supporters yet also our harshest critics. In a race our minds often flip-flop back and forth between cheering us on and convincing us that we are not capable of what it is we set out to accomplish. It’s important to not only be physically prepared for a race but also mentally prepared by creating a mental race plan.
One of the ways you can prepare your mind for a race is to write out how you think you’re going to feel each mile.
Here’s an example of a 5-mile mental race plan:
You are going to feel nervous. This is going to make your stomach hurt a little and it’s going to cause you to wonder if your digestive system is going to cooperate. It’s just the nerves. Don’t let it get to you. You prepared for this race. You trained hard. No regrets.
The gun goes off:
Practice patience. Remember that the first couple of miles won’t make your entire race but they can break it if you start out at a stupid pace. Let people pass you. Don’t get caught up in competing with anyone, not even yourself. Run slow.
Settle in to the pace. Slow your breathing by taking some deeper breaths. Remember to stand tall, open your lungs up and relax your arms and hands. Ten miles isn’t far for you, but it is a long way to go when you are pushing the pace.
If you feel good after mile five you can start to pick up the pace faster, right now focus on speeding up a bit at a time. You don’t want to be in a lot of pain now but you aren’t going to feel comfortable either—accept that.
You are close to halfway there. Before you know it the race will be over. You trained hard for months for this, don’t let the pain stop you from reaching your goal. You are in shape. Do not let the doubt demons that will jump on your back soon convince you otherwise.
Smile. This is supposed to be fun. You do this because you like this. Your legs are feeling heavy, that’s normal.
If you plan to do more miles, you can check out this article here: http://www.mile-posts.com/running/mental-race-plan-mile-posts.html
Here’s another resource you can look into: https://www.verywell.com/8k-training-schedule-for-beginner-runners-2910865
Here’s a video you might like:
Are you now ready to join a race and finish it?