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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.

Caitlin Chock:

“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.

I’ll just visualize I have Shalane’s form
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons


Happy Trails and Happy Running,



3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amy #

    I need to do more of this! The one time I actually did “visualize” during a race, I did pretty well. And yeah, maybe if I try to visualize being Kara Goucher enough, I’ll run as fast as her. That can happen, right?

    July 12, 2012
    • If you think you can, then absolutely!! One thing I’ve noticed this past week while trying to visualize and practice my chi running, it helps so much not to have music. I typically always run with it, but I’m making an effort to leave it at home so I can concentrate more on my running. And of course visualizing myself running like Shalane 🙂

      July 12, 2012
  2. I was taught visualizatio techniques as part of baseball traininag many years back. It changed my outlook and took my performance to a whole other level. I started coaching a youth’s AAA travel teams in univversity and the players who took it seriously reaped the rewards.
    You can employ this in any facet of life. There is tons of great research on it as well.

    Good luck with your race!

    Dr. Nauth-Ali

    July 12, 2012

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