It's racing season for all us triathletes and runners, so felt it was a perfect time to review a key racing strategy I've relied on for many of my 'A' races. I've shared this strategy several times here on GFTW, just shared it on my other website- and it's always a gem to review and use.
I had the privilege of listening to former Olympic Sports Psychologist, Bobby McGee, at the USAT triathlon clinic a few years ago where he shared this exercise below.
Designing a Mental Race Map
1:Print a map of your race route and visualize the following:
1. How will your body feel at the different points of the race?
2. What will you tell yourself for motivation during the different points of the race?
3. What do you want to remember during the race?
2. Next, write out those sentiments/mantras on your race map.
You might have 'relax shoulders' during the second half of your run, and 'I'm an endurance athlete' as your overall mantra written at the top of the map.
3. Keep the map in a visible place (bathroom mirror, kitchen fridge) to refer to often.
4. Practice. Practice. Practice.
You often hear the difference between 2 athletes of same ability comes down to mental focus and presence. Well, this needs to be practiced as much as the physical end of things. So...practice, practice, practice visualizing these verbal responses and feelings, several weeks before your race/event. Treat it as part of your workout and training.
Make your race thoughts a habit.
Again, this strategy was learned from Bobby McGee, expert running coach. I'd love to hear if you've used these strategies before or how you mentally prepare for a race. :)