Visualization is a great tool to utilize before a big competition. Think of it like a dress rehearsal that won’t tire you legs!
To visualize you want to get yourself very relaxed. Lay down on your yoga mat or couch. Close your eyes or keep them open gazing at one point on the ceiling. Then begin to relax you body from your feet on up.
Clench your toes squeezing as hard as possible clench, clench, clench and then relax let them melt into the floor.
Repeat with your feet tighten, tighten, tighten. Then relax and melt into the floor.
Move to your calves.
Then your quads.
Squeeze and clench your glutes. Then relax and let those butt cheeks sink into the floor.
Tighten your abs.
Then you palms, squeezing them into a fist before relaxing and letting them sink into the ground palms up.
Clench your forearms, flex your biceps arms still extended. Then relax all arm muscles as you melt into the floor.
Tighten those shoulder blades, your deltoids, and lats. Squeeze for about 5 seconds. Then relax and melt.
Relax your scalp, your eyebrows, your nose, your chin, and finally your mouth.
Relax your entire body, melting into the floor. Let go of all your stress, worries, anxieties, and tension.
Now you are ready to visualize.
Picture yourself walking to the start line. There will be a ton of people around. Energy is in the air! Nerves are high, but you feel confident. We all feel nerves differently. (My palms and fingers tingle and burn.) Channel that energy and use it to your advantage!
Enter your corral. You want to stay calm but remember those nerves you feel are adrenaline fueling your blood to run fast!
As you approach the start, get excited! You’ve trained for this! YOU ARE READY!
Run through the gate. DON’T go out too fast. YOU WILL WANT TO–DON’T! Warm up in the first mile. Check your split as you hit the first mile marker ….i bet it’s too fast. Adjust and hit your intended pace.
Cruise through mile 7.
….Then hit it! The race is on. Your blood is pumping, you are feeling good. You cruise through miles 7 and 8 even though the hill has begun.
Then the pain begins to set in. You are tired and you are on a hill. DON’T let the hill win. Visualize extending through those glutes. Power through the top of the hill!
At mile 11 feel the pain. You want to stop. Tell your body says NO! Remember you are stronger than you think you are. You’ve trained for this! Keep pace.
Feel the pain. Breathe into the pain. Practice a power breath. Breathe all the way into your belly and then slowly let it out. Remember oxygen fuels you!
You are almost there keep pushing! As you get closer to the finish. Know there will be pain. But that’s why you did speed work. It’s almost over.
Hear the crowd. Channel their energy! They will pull you in. When you hit that shoot RUN! FASTER! SPRINT! Like your life depended on it. Don’t leave anything back. You should want to collapse. Push, push, PUSH! This is the goal! This is what you trained for!
Remember pain is temporary. Pride is forever.
Do this each night before the race. Remember back to psych?–The self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s real. So believe. You can do it! Race hard. It will all be worth it!