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 pre-race nervousness
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

pre-race nervousness Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:38 am 

Immediately before a race, when I'm standing by the starting line waiting for the final couple of minutes before the start, I always get extremely nervous. I'm not sure why, I've done lots of races now so I should know what to expect, but I often go into a near panic while waiting for the starting gun. At a race two years ago, I measured my HR at 148 standing still before the start! It does seem to help a little if I'm there with someone else and we chat a little. Any other good suggestions for helping soothe jittery nerves?

Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: pre-race nervousness Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:11 pm 

I'm the same way, to some extent. If it's a race I've really been gearing up for and targetting to peak, etc. I am a nervous wreck. Similarly, last year when almost every race I did was a distance I'd never covered before, I was anxious that I wasn't ready. This manefests itself for me in getting out of the box way too fast for the start of the race. I've had some races where I can actually maintain it, but many others where I get tired late. I think if you're disciplined enough to not let your nervousness affect your race, it's a good thing. I'd be more worried if you got to the starting line and didn't care one way or the other. Excitement is a good thing in my opinion.

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: pre-race nervousness Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:09 pm 

I definitely still get nervous when I run a race where I'm tring to improve my time. So, this past year I ran in a lot of races as part of my training. That is, I didn't run them as hard as I would a normal race but used them as part of a tempo run or something. So I went into the race very relaxed. It helps when the races count for the requirement to get automatic entrance into the NYC marathon. So even though I'm not shooting for a PR I'm getting something out of running the race. So, you might want to think about using the run more as a tempo run, easy paced recovery run, or some other training session.

In these cases, I like to line up farther back in the pack and not have to worry quite so much about the jossling that goes on at the start. I get off to a nice easy start and then I've got a bunch of people in front of me I can pass as I pick up my pace. Let's face it...it's fun to pass people. In fact, I'll use someone ahead of me as a marker to do a fartlek...recover and then find another person and do the same. In other words, I play games as I run the race and it makes it more fun...and challenging in a different way.


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: pre-race nervousness Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:54 am 

I also get nervous before races. For me I think it's a question of being unsure what pace I should run. Go out too fast and burn yourself out or too slow and leave something on road. I find this especially true with marathons as I have only run three and only run one a year. Also with marathons the conditions are never the same, so the issue of pacing is never certain. I'm not sure how to overcome these nerves or that it really matters.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: pre-race nervousness Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:07 pm 

There's also a lot more at stake in a marathon, so more reason to be nervous. After all, you've trained months and months for this one race, and if it goes poorly, you can't just go out an do another one next week. I'd say that's plenty of reason to be a little nervous.

sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: pre-race nervousness Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:03 pm 

You can train for a marathon but you can't practice a marathon. You know what they say, "practice makes perfect"!

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