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Four Strategies For Overcoming Pre-Race Nerves

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Jan. 29, 2014
Before your race, whether it takes place on the track or on the road, take some time to relax and shake the pre-race nerves. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

3. Channel Your Nerves With Mental Imagery

Many of the world’s top runners practice mental imagery and visualization before their biggest races. Perhaps one of the most well-known examples of the power of mental imagery is the gold-medal performance of Mark Plaatjes at the World Championships marathon in 1993. Plaatjes extensively practiced visualization techniques while preparing for his race, so much so that he knew every undulation on the course. Despite it being the biggest race if his life, Plaatjes toed the line completely confident about how he would perform — he knew the course inside and out and had already visualized success in his mind.

Practice visualization techniques in your training to prepare for every possible scenario and reduce your anxiety on race day.

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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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