Eat Pray Run DC: Calming The Nerves

It's marathon week for Courtney! Here are her 5 tips for calming race week nerves.

2013-11-16 13.37.34

This morning I woke up with a knot in my stomach, a sense of giddiness and a tiny bit of trepidation. That’s right…it’s marathon week! While I don’t usually get anxious days before a race, I think I will always wake up the week of a marathon with a sense of nervous excitement. The key is to translate those nerves into energy that will help you during race week and not get you into a state of panic. Here’s how I handle my race week nerves:

  • Reflect on all the work I’ve put in. I have had some great successes during this training cycle. I’ve covered a lot of miles, done speed work, run hills and had some incredible long runs. I have put in the hard work necessary. So I try to remind myself of that when the nerves creep up.
  • Sleep. Resting during race week is so important. Chances are I’ll be too nervous to sleep well the night before, so I try to make sure I get extra sleep in the days leading up to the race!
  • Easy runs. For me, this meant running on the oh-so cool AlterG anti-gravity treadmill to take the pressure off my knee, which has been bothering me a bit. I will warm up before the race but aside from that, my plan is to just keep it simple.
  • Positive mantras. I like to repeat positive affirmations in my head when I start to get nervous. It sounds silly, but it really helps me tune out negative thoughts about the race!
  • Visualize the finish. I see myself crossing the finish within my goal time. I imagine the smile on my face. Again, it sounds kind of silly but really does help crowd out nerves!

How do you deal with nerves before a big race? Tweet @eatprayrundc and @womensrunning to share!