1. Expect the worst.
What? Expect the worst? That doesn’t sound like a very good way to stay positive in a race! Actually, it is. Research by Carl Foster at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse has shown that athletes generally feel better in race-type efforts if they expect to suffer a lot beforehand. It’s when they unrealistically expect or hope to feel terrific that the inevitable suffering they do experience makes them panic and fall apart. Always brace yourself for a big challenge before races and you’ll have a better chance of staying in control of your mood.