It's not uncommon for you to get nervous before a race you've been working towards. It really doesn't matter if it's your 50th marathon, your first 5K or just your longest workout ever, being a little nervous is almost part of the journey. Being a little worried is fine but dealing with it and making it less of a problem is ideal. Here are a few things to think about.
1. Trust your training - Remember all the months of work you've done, how hard you've worked and all of the improvement you've seen. It never hurts to look back over your training log to see the workouts you've put in the mileage bank and realize that you are ready! I always do this and it's relaxed me more than once when I'm thinking I'm not really ready.
2. Do something that has always relaxed you before - Read, do yoga, watch a movie or anything else that helps you feel like you are ready to go. For some reason, my friends and I like watching silly sports movies especially Run, Fatboy Run before a big race. I also have a playlist of music that I listen to even though many of the songs on it most people wouldn't find relaxing, like Pat Metheny's Zero Tolerance for Silence.
3. Only concern yourself with what you can control - You can't control the weather or how other people around you will run or many other aspects of the race so focus on what you can take charge of. Sleep, nutrition, and what you drink are all easy to control. Having a packing list and getting it in order a couple of days before the race goes a great way towards alleviating your worry about forgetting something. Use our handy race-tested packing list to make sure you have what you need.
4. Make a race plan - Even if it's your first race and you only want to finish, having a plan will help you be more in control of the positive outcome. Talk to one of your running friends, stop by the store and talk to one of us, use online resources or write down your goal. Even if all you write is "FINISH!", reading that will give you the positive thought and banish the doubts.
Use the above to help yourself relax before your next race and most of all remember to have a great time!
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Since its founding, The Original Running Co. has been at the center of a proud community of runners in the Delaware Valley. This is a place where runners can come together and share their thoughts and ideas.