Four Strategies For Overcoming Racing Anxiety

3. Develop a routine in training.

If you’ve tried simulating a race in training and have found that the logistics, pre-race nerves and hoopla of the race are what trigger your anxiety, work on developing a routine that helps you focus on race morning. Similarly, if you’ve used races as training runs and you’ve gotten to the point where you can at least show up to the race and feel relaxed, the next step is getting to the starting line with your nerves intact and confidence high.

Building this confidence comes from developing a specific and repeatable pre-race routine in training. Generally, people get worked up about the outcome of events they cannot control. Therefore, you need to keep your focus on the elements you can control, like a familiar warm-up routine. Implementing this tactic before a race helps put your mind in a comfort zone with a familiar routine that has worked many times in training and keeps you calm, cool and collected on the starting line.

How to execute:

During your workouts, mimic the warmup you plan to do before your big race. For example, run easily for 10-15 minutes, stretch any muscles that are sore or tight, do a few quick strides and be ready to go. On race day, implement this exact same routine and instead of focusing on your nerves, the other runners around you, or the general excitement surrounding the race, concentrate on executing your familiar warmup.

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