RUNNING TALK: How To Mentally Prepare for Race

RUNNING TALK: How To Mentally Prepare for Race

We’ve joined forces with the Great Run Series! Gym+Coffee is the Official Activewear Partner for 7 incredible events taking place in the UK this summer!

The final countdown is well and truly on for The Great Run Manchester 2022 on May 2022. As we approach the big day, we’re offering some tips and tricks to help you give your all on the today. 

Today, we’re looking at mental preparation for a race. 

Get Organised

Before you do anything, make sure you’re organised for the big day. 

Make a checklist of everything you need to know in advance:

  • Start time
  • How to get there/How long will it take
  • Run bibs 

Be sure you know what you’re going to wear and take extra care to test your gear out and make sure you’re comfortable, not too hot and not too cold. Plan your race day breakfast too. 

It’s impossible to be mentally focused on the challenge at hand if you’re in any way uncomfortable or worried about some other detail. 

Your morning prep on the day is also vital. Fitness expert and G+C race-day runner, Tom Seed, tells us “I like to do a good amount of stretching, fuel up on carbs & find a top playlist to listen to from my Soundcloud!”

Stressing the importance of breakfast, Tom explains “Food before any run or workout is important. Easily digestible carbs like oats & a banana along with my PhD EAA’s + Clear whey to sip leading up to the race”

Step by Step

Once you’re in it, try not to look too far ahead. If you’re thinking about how far you have left to go, that long stretch you're dreading, that hill that’s coming up, your mental focus shifts and doubts can creep in. 

Take it one step at a time and try to stay present in the moment. 

If you find yourself slipping out of the present moment, focus on your breathing. 

Break Things Up

How do you eat an elephant? Breaking up your race into quick-win milestones holds momentum and keeps you motivated. 

Map your race into smaller parts: whether it’s 10 minute time segments, key landmarks you’ll pass or distances gained. You can give yourself that all-important pat on the back and feel a sense of achievement when you hit those smaller milestones. 

Know Your Route

Familiarising yourself with the route beforehand is of huge benefit. You could run or even walk it, allowing yourself to imagine how it will all go on the day. 

This can also help with visualising. Picturing yourself smashing it on the day can help you build excitement and confidence and go on to give an incredible performance.

Tips from the Gym+Coffee Staff

We checked in with some of the runners in our Gym+Coffee crew and here’s what they told us:

“What personally helps me to prepare for a run, is to not think about the finish line and to not think about times. Try to be in the moment and enjoy it, listen to your body on how it feels and leave that dictate your pace. Music and podcasts can defo help you through the tougher moments.” - Lee

“I always make little promises of rewards to myself too - like when I complete the run I will have an Iced Coffee or an Ice Cream or a nice pint of Guinness. It helps to have something to look forward to, especially for long runs. It could even be a takeaway! I once planned a route for a 26km marathon training run to finish at my local Chinese takeaway!”- Allie

“I usually pump myself up for a race - I'd be in the start line dancing or jumping up and down or getting involved in the cheering/whooping. Telling myself I'm going to enjoy the race and enjoy the finish helps build up the adrenaline.”- Adele 

“I always add 1-2 new songs to my running playlist before a big run and usually start off with them! My running playlist is now over 32 hours long and I never know what I'm going to get next on the run. It adds a fun element to it - love when I go from AC/DC to S Club 7 or Busted”- Ellen 

The Great Manchester Run is happening on May 22nd, 2022. Keep your eyes peeled for us and don’t forget to cheer on all the incredible runners on the day! Find more information here.