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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Race Rituals

The race - Race against Child Abuse
The distance - 10K

I'm SO antsy! As my first race of the season approaches I am getting so anxious! The good kind. The excited kind. The "I can barely contain myself!" kind. How do I quench the butterflies? Here's my plan of attack.

1 - First and foremost...Be Prepared!
  • I make sure I've trained well enough that I know I can at least do the distance.
  • I eat a good dinner and stay hydrated through-out the day before the race.
  • I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep during the 2 nights before the race.
  • I find directions to get to the race and where the parking is.
  • I lay out my clothes, Ipod, and and a plan for what I'm going to have for breakfast the night before.
2 - Do everything early race morning.

Wake up early. Get ready early. Arrive to the race early.

I HATE to be rushed on race morning. I need to save that adrenaline for running! Ideally I get to a race at least 30-40 minutes early so I can warm-up, stretch, mentally visualize how I'm going to run and take care of number 3.  No this does not involve a bodily function. It's the next step. ;)

3 - Take care of my pre-race rituals. I know, Silly right? But these are the things I have to make sure are done.

~ I have to make sure my laces are double-knotted and tied with equal pressure. I don't like if one shoe is fitting snugger than the other.
~ Visit the porta-pit about 15 minutes before start time. Even if I've gone 3 times during the morning, it's just something I have to do.
~ Then right before the gun I make sure my tunes are on, volume is perfect, and my finger is on the start button for the timer.

It may seems silly but having a set sequence of things you do before the race can actually CALM you. Check this out. Rather than trying to fight performance anxiety, elite athletes use pre-race rituals to help them manage it. They might listen to music on an iPod, pray, meditate, or go through a specific warm-up. Work on developing your own pre-race rituals and do them before every race, so they become familiar and relaxing. (1)

If you caught the speed skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics you might have seen Apolo Ohno yawning before his races and thought "Why doesn't he try to get more sleep?" Actually, this is one of his pre-race rituals.

Apolo Ohno - "Number one, it's a habit. Number two, it relaxes me," Ohno said. "I'm not tired at all. I have this visualization thing. I try to think I'm a lion when I'm on the ice. I notice lions yawn a lot." (2)
What are some of your pre-race rituals? Do you wear the same pair of socks to every race? Do you repeat a mantra? Do you make sure to apply the lucky chap stick and pant your toe nails bright red the night before? Come on, I wanna hear 'em!




Lisa said...

Great rituals! At least you know you'll be ready for a great race when you get to the start line!

My ritual mostly involves what I eat the night before and the morning of. Plus, I make sure everything is laid out before I go to bed and I always leave super early! I do not want to be one of those poor souls running to get to the start after the gun has gone off!

Glenn Jones said...

You and I are peas in a pod with our pre-race rituals/habits!

Good luck this weekend!

Teamarcia said...

I don't really have rituals unless I'm doing a 1/2 marathon or more. Then my rituals start a week in advance with carbing/hydrating laying out race outfit, food, etc.
Good luck and have fun--you'll be great!

Christina said...

As part of my pre-race ritural I will often list to Phedippidations, his mind games episode.

Our Ragnar Wasatch team is Hard Days Night. Once I know starting time I'll post that. I've found that the starting teams often stay relatively close to each other through the race.