Mental Tips: Put Your Race In Perspective

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Oct. 21, 2013
  • Updated Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:39 AM UTC
Even the elite athletes get nervous before a race. But it's important to control those emotions. Photo:

Take Time To Enjoy The Journey To Be Consistent

While the performance decline that results in being too nervous should convince any serious runner to reexamine how they approach races, I personally believe the bigger factor is its impact on your enjoyment of the sport.

Becoming a good runner takes years and years of consistent mileage and solid workouts. If the thought of upcoming workouts or races gets you so nervous that these events no longer become fun, it’s going to be difficult to stay in the sport for a long time.

Moreover, unless running is your livelihood, these race experiences are supposed to be fun. While I am not suggesting performing well and setting a PR are not fun, they are only one component of what makes a race great. The energy, excitement, travel, and the camaraderie all make racing an awesome experience.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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