The night before a race can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You’ve been training extremely hard, feeling confident and more than ready... but pre-race jitters are a real thing. Having a pre-race ritual that you swear by can work wonders in aiding in your relaxation and calming those nerves. In fact, many major pro athletes admit to following certain rituals that they claim help to elevate their performance due to an elevated mindset. And truth be told, some of those rituals are just plain odd (such as wearing the same “lucky” underwear before every major game). Deciding on your own pre-race ritual can be challenging but read on for some easy ways to begin and build from there.
Listen To Your Favorite Running/Workout Song
Do you have that one song on your workout playlist that gets you pumped enough to beat some personal records? If it motivates you enough to get you moving and it’s a song you will never skip under any circumstances, chances are it’s a great way to prepare for your race. It doesn’t matter if it’s “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, as long as it’s a song that personally speaks to you, gets you into that perfect mindset, and pushes you to reach your goals, it will suffice.
Bump your chosen tune while warming up right before your race starts or while relaxing before the day even truly begins. The perfect time to play your song is entirely up to personal preference, so test out both scenarios to see what works best for you. And hey- if you end up winning first place when you play your song directly before your race, keep on repeating this ritual during that specific timeframe. Whatever works, right?
Wear a Personal Memento
Running a marathon requires some serious self reflection which means it gets deeply personal. Maybe you like to remind yourself why you started running in the first place or you’re reminded of your biggest support systems that constantly motivate you to succeed.
We attribute value and personal sentiment to certain objects which can represent these intangibles to us in many ways. This can present in many forms such as your favorite wrist band imprinted with your favorite quote, the medal you received after your very first marathon, or a religious token. Wearing this memento during a race can help you stay positive and just feeling good in general which is super crucial before a big event like a marathon.
These are just two ideas as a starting point for your own personal pre-race ritual so we’d love to hear what seems to work well for you and what doesn’t. Add as you see fit (drinking a certain type of protein shake, calling your mom or mentor for words of encouragement, etc). Whatever ritual you end up subscribing to, you will absolutely crush it at your next race.