Myth 3: I’ve got the perfect race plan.
A race will almost always never go exactly as planned. It doesn’t matter how well-trained you are or how much time you’ve spent plotting the perfect strategy, something is likely to happen that you didn’t expect. Veteran runners have enough race experience that they’ve seen just about everything and are generally more prepared for any circumstance. Unfortunately, most beginners can be thrown off their target much easier and thus need more practice.
The best way to mentally prepare for something going wrong in a race is to use visualization techniques in the weeks and days before you step on the starting line. Visualize as many different scenarios you can think of and formulate a plan of attack in your mind. By conjuring up these emotions, sights and sounds, you can prepare yourself to remain calm and collected so you can execute in a chaotic environment. If any of your scenarios happen during the race, you’ll know exactly what to do and it won’t throw you off your game.