Gain confidence to perform your best
Warm up well: neglecting to warm up on race day is like toeing the line in a pair of worn-out-shoes- you´ll finish, but you won´t run your best. Warming up prepares both body and mind for the task at hand. Generally, the shorter the race, the longer and more thorough your warmup should be: a 5K requires at least 15 minutes of jogging plus six to eight strides; for a marathon you can simply use the first couple miles to warm up.
Sip and swish: Studies have found that athletes can run farther with less effort after swishing sports drink in their mouths and spitting it out. Tasting carbs (without ingesting them) may stimulate the body to push harder. This can be a useful tactic if midrun fuel bothers your stomach, but it works best for races that last about an hour –you may need to consume the additional carbs in a longer event.
MIND & BODY
Be superstitious: On race day, it´s smart to stick to your regular routine. But if you have “lucky” shoelaces or safety pins, use them –they may not possess magical powers, but people who develop superstitious thoughts and behaviors can use them to help calm their minds. Eventhough this is illogical thinking, it provides a sense of control, comfort and meaning –which can keep you calm when you might otherwise be nervous.
Need a bit of inspiration or a motivating mantra for your upcoming race? www.runnersworld.com/quotes