Running through challenges on race day
I’m feeling horrible
It’s still so far
I can’t do this
Why am I even doing this
1. REALIZE YOUR RACE IS GOING TO BE HARD
2. YOUR RACE MIGHT NOT GO ACCORDING TO PLAN
- Most probably your race will not go exactly according to plan. Stay calm, this is a temporary set back, you can handle it, take a deep breath. You are going to have to improvise and fix the problem at hand.
- If you’re low on energy, take some sugars, possibly a gel or drink with caffeine.
- If there is a lot of headwind, find a few other runners at same pace, take turns to run in the front. This can safe a lot of energy.
- If you feel like you’re going to cramp, slow down your pace a bit, drink extra water at the next aid station, if you have any salt / electrolyte pills, bite into one.
- Look what is within your control to change your situation around.
3. DON’T LOOK BACK, LOOK FORWARD
4. PUSH THROUGH DISCOMFORT
5. MANTRA / POSITIVE SELF TALK
Find a mantra or positive self talk to get you through tough spots, repeat this many times to yourself. Something like:
"You’re doing good, come on, you got this"
"You’ve trained well, now it’s go time"
"You’re making good progress, let’s go!"
6. BREAK RACE IN SMALL SECTIONS
7. PICK UP YOUR PACE
One of my friends Kelley Puckett mentioned a good one on our recent Sub 3 Hour Marathon podcast: “When you’re struggling, pick up your pace your legs want a change of pace.” Of course, that’s easier said than done, but I like this one.
8. REALIZE YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Most others are you are going through the same tough spots too, so being aware of your surroundings and encouraging other runners can help too. Laugh, try to smile, slap a high five to a spectator, thank the volunteers at the aid stations. This alone will positively boost your energy levels.
During the tough spots in a race, there will be 2 voices in your head:
One that says: "you can not do it!"
And one that says: "you can do this!"
The vote that will win, is the one you decide to listen to most. The choice is yours.
Chicago Marathon Shakeout Run, Saturday October 8, 2022 at 10am. Details / RSVP here
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