It's okay to be nervous before a run. If you're nervous it shows that you care!
Whether you're an Olympian lining for that one race every four years or you're about to run your first fun run, we all get nervous. You may have also been nervous before some of your key run sessions, especially some of those longer runs, but you've made it to the start line haven't you?
Let's look at a few things that will help you ease the nerves those few days before the race and on race morning.
Know where and when your race is on
Sounds simple I know, but how many people do you know on the day before the race start asking where the run starts and what time they should get there? With social media and the amount of information sent out by race organisers these days, you should find out well in advance where the start is, and if you're driving where you can park. Some of the bigger races have different start times, so before race morning, make sure you know when your start time is!
The training's done (or is it?)
No amount of training or extra sessions in the last week will make you any faster. If you're saying to yourself, "I haven't done enough training", then remember a couple of your tougher runs you got through in training. They may have been in the rain or extreme heat, or the longest run you did. You felt great for getting through them, so take your mind back to that moment.
Visualise yourself crossing the finish
C'mon we all do it. You've thought about crossing the line and getting that medal around your neck. If the finish line is near the start of the run, wander over to the finish and take a few minutes to visualise yourself crossing thatline.
Have a mantra or motivational song
The first Ironman I did, my coach suggested I repeat the words - Rhythm, Power, Energy. When I found it getting tough, I repeated those words in my head over and over again. It took the focus away from my struggle. You could pick your own mantra or song and even write it on your hand to give you a reminder when things start to get tough.
Smile and relax
On race morning, chat to your friends or the runner beside you on the start line. Nine times out of 10, they'll be just as nervous and the quick chat will calm you both down. Smile! It will naturally relax your face and the rest of your body, plus you'll look so much better in those race day pictures!