Race Day Mindset
In endurance sports, we invest a lot in one day. We invest time, money, and a ton of hard work to make sure one day (often a fraction of a day) goes extremely well. This structure can place a lot of pressure on race day, which is the exact thing that sabotages all the investment.
What is the right mindset to have on race day when you have invested so much into it? There is a very tricky balance here – a fine line between success and disappointment. We must learn to walk this line. I will offer a few suggestions.
Your mindset should be positive. As you approach race day, enter it with anticipation, not fear. Anticipate that this could be one of the best races of your life when mind and body collide in this perfect flow. Dream about it and get excited for it. Do not fear this not happening or plan for it in any way. I know this comes with some emotional risk of disappointment but the alternative will lead to disappointment for sure.
Be present in every sense. As you approach the race, think through how it will go from start to finish. Think through the details and plan for them. Think through exactly how you dream each segment will go and plan for it emotionally. On race day, stay present not allowing your mind to wander or worry. Focus on where you are at that moment and what you need to be doing at that moment to have a successful race, even if things are not going as planned.
Maintain perspective. Your life value does not rest on this race and much of the benefit you will receive from this race will come from your preparations for it. In no way am I saying not to care but rather care just enough that you have the best race possible. Placing too much stock in the race will raise your anxiety to a level that will ultimately sabotage your race.
None of the above Is easy to do, and it takes practice. Important workouts or test sets are an excellent platform for practicing as are lower priority races. The more you race with a commitment to this mindset, the better you will be. Happy Racing!