Calming the taper nerves As fall races approach, we see more and more athletes tapering for their goal races. You know how taper is. You spend months building up mileage, busy & exhausted from training then suddenly there are cuts in mileage and more time and energy to worry about all the things. We start to second guess ourselves! Did I do enough? Is this training cycle good enough to get me to my goal time? We start to worry and get anxious. Our normal outlet for our worries may be running, so it is ironic that we are unable to get the fix we need. In this podcast we will be chatting about typical concerns athletes have going into a race and our mindset approach to fix them. Sometimes when we bring our fears to light, they aren’t so scary anymore.
If you’ve ever ran a race, you know all about the nerves leading up to it! During a taper, we are running less miles and have a ton of time to think about your training cycle, race morning, your pacing plan, fueling plan, etc. It is enough to make your head spin!
UNDERSTAND THE SYMPTOMS OF TAPERING: Water “weight gain” from increasing carb intake, feeling sluggish, feeling antsy, etc. These are all normal! You may feel like your taper isn’t working and you want to go and “prove your fitness”. Do everything in your power to HOLD BACK! The taper is doing its job 💪
USE YOUR EXTRA TIME FOR DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES: You have more time on your hands during the taper. Focus on some more activities that will help calm you like cooking, yoga, or meditation. They can help you take your mind off of any pre-race nerves you have
REMEMBER THAT YOUR RACE PERFORMANCE IS NOT YOUR IDENTITY: No matter what happens on race day, your friends and family will still love you and your coach will still be so proud of you for getting out there. The fact that you made it through a training cycle and got to the start line is something to be so proud of. Appreciate the amazing journey you are on! 🛣
REMEMBER THAT EVERY RACE IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE: No matter the outcome, you will learn something from it. You will gain invaluable information that you can take to your next race to pace better, fuel better, etc.! You have to experience the bad races to become the best runner you can be 💯
FOCUS ON THE EFFORT AND PACING PLAN: Race day nerves can often make runners go out too fast. Do everything you can to focus more on your effort in those first few miles and sticking to your speed limits! You are in control of your body
MODIFY YOUR GOALS WHEN NEEDED: There are always uncontrollable factors on race day. Weather, terrain, crowds, etc. If you know the weather is going to be much hotter than you anticipated, start by adjusting your goal so you aren’t attempting to go for your A Goal in less than ideal weather. Everyone else is battling the same conditions and adjusting their goals too– you are not alone! 🙌
What if I go out too fast?
What if I don’t hit my goal time?
What will people think if I DNF or walk or don’t BQ?
What if something flares up and I am unable to finish?
What if the weather is so bad that it rains the whole time and I become hypothermic?
What if I get sick the day before?
What if I get my period? What if I just have an off day?
What if I don’t feel accomplished after?
What if my support system isn’t proud of me?
How can I ask others to support me during this taper time?
What would help calm my nerves?