Success is 90 percent physical and 10 percent mental. But never underestimate the power of that 10 percent.–Tom Fleming
Friends who know me well might laugh at the fact that I am doling out advice on finding your running confidence. But do as I say, not as I do, ok? Because I want you to understand how important your state of mind is when it comes to race day.
Ever have that picture perfect day where everything falls into place during a race? If you look back on the morning of that race, I’m betting you can remember feeling confident when you toed the line. Confident in your training, in your fitness level, and in your ability to execute your race as you have planned. And that confidence led you to success.
Gaining that confidence is never easy, believe me, I know! But I can say without a doubt that my best races have been when I felt confident all week leading up to that day. Across the board, my PRs have happened with this state of mind.
So how do you acquire that confidence? This is what has worked for me in the past:
- Solid training leading up to race day–training I know I can trust to deliver the desired results
- Having a race-day plan–knowing in advance what kind of a pace I want to hit from start to finish, and knowing these are paces that I can achieve
- A bit of visualization–I’m not great at this, but if I can picture myself finishing in the time I am after, it helps my confidence
- A shake-out run the day before–This is always my routine. It’s short (usually about two miles) but it’s enough to loosen the legs and let my head get the message that my legs are rested and ready to go.
These are all factors within your control, for the most part. So take that control and run with it, knowing you’ve got this race right where you want it.
What tricks work for you to gain confidence on race day? Have you noticed more confidence equals better performance?