I have a race this Saturday – a 5 miler in my hometown of Roxboro. I’m already nervous. Every time I think about toeing the start line, I get butterflies in my stomach. I started thinking this morning that I need to race more often so this nervous feeling goes away. Well then I realized this could get quite expensive so on to a different technique… visualization.
“The mental side of running is sometimes more crucial than the physical; we’ve all experienced the critical moment in a race where you are faced with the decision to keep pushing or back off and relent to the pain. Callousing the mind to the pain of exertion is one battle, another is working against the limits you may be putting on yourself. Believing you can do better is the first step and one way to achieve that is to picture yourself accomplishing those goals.”
At first I started visualizing I was Shalane Flanagan, but apparently that isn’t the way to practice this technique. I’m pretty sure she won’t be running by Northern Middle School on Saturday morning. Instead, here are some visualization exercises to help you get through your next race. I’m looking forward to practicing a few of these today.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,