5 Mental Tips for Racing


I'll get to the tips in a second, but first things first... Follow Sprinkles Cupcakes on Twitter so you'll get BOGO deals. (If you don't live near one, I'm sorry!) I paced myself and ate my cupcake over two days - such pacing self-control. If only I'd do that on race day when I usually start marathons too fast.

Now, onto the running tips... Last night, I attended a talk on the psychology of running in The Woodlands. It took me forever to get there even though it's normally only about 20 minutes away because of a highway accident, but I'm glad I went. Adrienne Langlier, a sports psychologist with a blog you'll want to follow, gave helpful tips for racing.

Psychology of Running Talk Held in The Woodlands

5 Mental Tips for Races

  1. Before race day, think about your race routines that include what you'll want to and not want to focus on. Stay positive.
  2. Don't hit the wall on race day by practicing relaxation on long training runs. Work through your body and make sure your shoulders and your back are relaxed.
  3. When you feel anxious, remember that some anxiety is actually good. When you're anxious, try this deep breathing exercise: inhale for a count of 4, hold breath for 7 and inhale for 8. (Or start with the easier 3, 3, 6  that I found mentioned here.)
  4. Your race will feel like it's going by faster if you think about it in smaller chunks like by a mile or two instead of a long 26 plus miles.
  5. Make sure that your inner dialogue is positive: I'm doing great, I'm strong, I'm prepared!

Last night, I signed up for my 18th marathon, The Woodlands Marathon, which takes place north of Houston on March 5. I ran 45 miles this week with an 18 miler even before signing up knowing that I'd want to race in the near future. Now I can hardly wait for race day!

Comments

  1. Greattips! Actually the breaking up a race especially something like a marathon does really make it go by faster. I break things up like training runs. When I hit like the 18 mile point I am like, okay self there is only 8 more miles to go, that is just a regular short day training run, sometimes it works, sometimes well... LOL

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    1. I like thinking about the run in shorter parts, too. Sometimes, I also like to find a section on my training route that I can run over and over so I can easily figure out the number of laps I'll run.

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  2. I used to bake cupcakes all the time, but I would usually try to eat only 1/4 of one cupcake a day and would give most away. That was tough! These are all awesome tips that I'm going to try! My race is at the end of March and already I'm getting anxious! I will be excited about race day vicariously through you!

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    1. But if you weren't anxious at all, then you'd really need to worry!

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  3. I always "chunk" my races! I don't understand #2 Practicing Relaxation on training runs. I never feel relaxed...lol.

    I sure do wish I lived near a sprinkles! I'm gonna check them out now and see where the nearest one is.

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    1. Maybe you can visit a Sprinkles when you travel. I know you like cupcakes!

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  4. 18th marathon -- wow! Great job logging a lot of miles for the week. I hope you enjoy a nice taper and a fantastic race!

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    1. Thanks, Angela! I an my first marathon when I was 40. It has taken me 10 years to get up my 18th.

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  5. Great tips. I am impressed that you have run so many marathons. My first in April 3rd and I am really excited about it!

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    1. Running your first marathon will be really exciting. I'm looking forward to following your marathon training on your blog!

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  6. Sprinkles Cupcakes look yummy. I just tried the breathing technique! Good luck with marathon #18. It sounds like you are ready.

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    1. Thanks! Wishing you a stress-free day that includes a cupcake or some other treat!

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  7. Good luck with 18 :) I know you will do fabulous. All those races - what wonderful accomplishments!
    I do like to deep breath when I feel like I am too tense, it helps me get centered.
    I agree, always have a few mantras in your head to push you through. I can't wait till I can run again.

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    1. I hope you'll be back at it soon!

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  8. Great tips! Mantras help me a lot during races, but I think I could do more relaxing. I tend to get tight. Hooray for signing up for another race!

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    1. I don't notice my tight shoulders until I go through a body check. I'm looking forward to another marathon!

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  9. Thanks so much for the mention and coming out the other night! Best of luck in the rest of your Woodlands training!

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    1. Thanks! I've used a few of the tips you mentioned during my runs this week like focusing on relaxing while I run. Thank you for taking the time to give the presentation!

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  10. Those cupcakes are BEAUTIFUL. YUM! I could eat a whole one right now :) 18 marathons is super impressive, too - just like the cupcakes! Breaking the run up into chunks really helps me mentally, like you mentioned.
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

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    1. A lot of times, breaking my run into snack segments works, too. It makes a GU seem that much better!

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