How to overcome race day nerves

Get past those butterflies in your stomach!

We’ve all experienced those pre-race butterflies and jelly legs, mainly because running a race – especially a marathon – is a step into the unknown for many and even if you have prepared well, it is very much an ‘on the day’ experience.

It can be difficult to control your emotions but being nervous before the start gun sounds is a sign that the event means a lot to you.

Most runners go through the same thing, however, there are a few things you can do to destress and calm yourself…

Have faith in your preparation – When you’re about to get going, just think that you’ve done all the hard yards to get to the startline, left no stone unturned and put yourself in the best possible position to succeed.

A side point to this is leave yourself plenty of time on race day to a) get to the venue and b) get ready to run! Rushing around and racing the clock before you start running isn’t what you want!

Visualise – Think of the positives. For one, you’re about to gain a new experience, go through different emotions, test yourself and reach the finishing line (eventually) – which is no mean feat when it comes down to marathon play!

Let your mind wander – It’s OK to release yourself from your race day zone, look around at other runners and soak in the overall atmosphere. Indeed, it’s a great way to actually forget about those nerves which were bugging you in the first instance.

Control your breathing – Try and breathe normally, and especially, not too quickly. For me in the past, breathing deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth has helped establish some form of rhythmic pattern!

 

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