Race Week: How to Calm the Taper Crazies
The work is done. And now you wait…anxiously for race day while reducing your mileage to that of a sane person, making you feel more insane than ever. Sound familiar?
While race anxiety is normal, it’s important not to let it get in the way of performance. Here are 9 suggestions on how to not let taper crazies get the best of you and sabotage your race:
Don’t worry about anything you can’t control. You have no control over mother nature so quit obsessing over her. If she decides to get angry, there is nothing you’ll be able to say to talk her out of it. So, stop wasting energy there. Instead, if the weather looks less than ideal, plan your gear accordingly and mentally prep for it. Remember, if there’s going to be wind, it will be on your back at some point.
Don’t try anything new. This seems obvious but when runners can’t run, they usually read and dream about running and start finding all sorts of new stuff online they should try. Don’t! Been there, done that. I almost didn’t get to a start line because of it.
Quit worrying about the result. Obsessing about the finish line clock isn’t going to change anything other than make you second yourself. I tell my clients to line up excited about the possibility of what they might accomplish that day versus the fear and dread of what they might not. Attitude is everything. And it pulls us through those dark kilometres when doubt starts to surface. Attitude on race week will set the stage for your attitude at the start line.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. I mean it just how it sounds. We tend to feel like everybody is watching for our result and make it out to be a much bigger deal than it is. At the end of the day, no one cares as much as you do. So, run for you. And quit worrying about what everyone else is thinking. Because they’re probably not thinking about your race at all.
Save your mental energy for race day. Thinking about the race every second of every day the week leading up to your race is wasting precious mental energy before you even line up. You’ll need that mental energy for race day.
Taper runs, for better or worse, do not determine how race day will go. End of story. Quit overthinking them. In fact, don’t even think about them.
Don’t have your race so planned so that you won’t know how to deal with any adversity or hiccups on race day. Sometimes race directors have to make quick course changes due to various reasons. So quit obsessing about the details, because sometimes details change. Have your pace plan ready to go, but don’t worry about your pace on every ebb and flow of the road.
Those niggles you're feeling? Even if they're not all in your head, they've probably been there all along. Still not certain? Book in with your physio to ease your mind.
Have too much time on your hands? Do some of those things you’ve been meaning to do that running kept taking the place of. Like going through your old clothes to donate to the local shelter. Or reading that book that ISN’T about running you’ve been meaning to start. Binge watch a Netflix series. Or do all the above. Just don’t run extra because you let the taper crazies win. Be strong.
Have any more suggestions on how you combat the taper crazies? Send them to email@example.com and I’ll be sure to feature them on @weruntheworldcoaching on IG.