5/19/16

Reduce the pre-race stress



Racing is fun but it is also very stressful.
Stress can be a response to things out of your control whereas nerves can mean you care about your result.

I hate to be the party pooper but every athlete is going to have challenges before and/or on race day - whether it's the weather, terrain or something outside your control or feeling really, really uncomfortable because you are giving a hard effort.
While it is important to focus only on things within your control and to not waste energy on things out of your control, trying to control everything can increase anxiety when things don't work out like you had hoped for.
My suggestion......stop worrying about what's completely out of your control and put positive energy into trusting yourself, your fitness and your ability to overcome anything that comes your way before and on race day.
Race day is an opportunity to show off your consistent training efforts - not besting or matching what paces or watts that you held in training so that you can achieve a specific time-goal outcome.

Don't assume you are going to have a bad day because it's windy, hot/cold or rainy. Race day rewards a great effort and a smart execution.
Don't waste away months of training on worries, doubt or fear.
With the conditions you are given on race day, be sure to race your nearest competition with your current level of fitness. 

Racing is all about being proactive. It requires extreme focus to troubleshoot every situation and to not get ahead of yourself (don't think about how you are going to feel on the run when you are swimming). You must execute in the best possible way, on your race course, with the weather you are given on your race day.

The only time you will know what you are capable of achieving on race day is when you cross the finish line, knowing that you gave your absolute best effort and overcame everything that you experienced on race day. 

To race to your full ability and to achieve the best possible outcome, you must understand that racing is a process - it's dynamic and it's very task driven. This is why we encourage athletes to race a few times at lower priority races before racing in a key race so you can go through all the motions and emotions of racing.

When you race, your entire race is built on steps, with each mile affecting the next mile. While there are many things within your control, holding x-watts or x-pace to give you x-final result is not true racing

While it may seem as if having metric guidelines (ex. hold x-watts or x-pace) or a time goal to chase will give you comfort so you race to your potential and/or you don't blow yourself up, putting all your energy into the end result will likely cause you to lose focus on the elements that you can control - your fueling/hydrating, the course, your economy, how you manage your efforts (based on the terrain and weather), your mindset and what your body is telling you at each moment during the race.

To help you relax your mind before a race, focus on simply being present during your race. Give your best effort. Be grateful for what your body can do and what it allows you to do. Be proud of your discipline, which allowed you to gain fitness for your race day.

Don't stress about the outcome.

The best race day outcome is determined by how you manage what you can control and how you overcome what you can't control.... from start to finish.

Enjoy the challenges that you will experience on race day and don't stress out before you start your amazing day with your awesome body.