Four Strategies For Overcoming Pre-Race Nerves

4. Create Flexible Goals

For some runners, nerves result from an increasing fear of failure. Perhaps you’re not worried about external factors such as weather or your competition, but are instead afraid of failing or not accomplishing what you consider success. To combat this, Sheehan suggests runners, “make a good, great, and awesome goal for each race.”

“The good goal is usually something that no matter what happens you know you can achieve, such as being focused and giving 100 percent no matter what. The great goal may be a personal best or something to build upon the good goal. The awesome goal is something that, if everything comes together, it’s something you can accomplish. Using this goal setting helps ease the nerves and allows you to find success and positives from every race.”

At the end of the day if you’ve done everything possible to give yourself the opportunity to have success, then there’s not much more you can do. One of the best — and sometimes most frustrating — lines a coach once told me is, “working hard doesn’t guarantee success, it only gives you the opportunity to succeed.”

At the end of the day, all you can ask is to take advantage of those opportunities to the best of your ability.

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