How to Calm Pre-Race Anxiety

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The Lubbock Mayor’s Marathon is just 5 days away! Some people may be pumped, others might be biting their nails, but many are probably doing both. Pre-race anxiety is very common for any racer. If the anxiety lingers until the day of the race it can be detrimental on performance. Luckily, with the help of Active and Runners World, I am giving you some tips on how to decrease that pre-race anxiety and help you run your best!

These tips can be helpful towards any racer and any distance!

  1. Set Several Goals! While tapering and cutting down your running the week before the race, do NOT spend your extra time fixated on one goal. This can cause stress and negative thoughts, like, “What if I do not reach this one goal?” Instead, set several goals that cover a span of time and many aspects of the race. For example, set a goal on stretching more every day, or make a goal to prepare everything the night before. Setting these goals helps you stay focused and busy and gives you an extra confidence boost every time to complete a goal.


  1. Plan! Planning is a great way to calm nerves. Sit down and decide what you are going to do the night before the race in order to be refreshed and ready to run. Plan the morning of the race, what your favorite pre-race breakfast is, and what time you should leave. You can also plan what snacks/drinks to take with you and what you want to do to celebrate after!


  1. Trust Your Training! If your mind starts to be consumed with “what if” thoughts, worries or fears, take a step back and think about the countless months of training. Remind yourself of the extra miles you put in or the extra reps you did, in order to build up the muscle and endurance. All that training will show!


  1. Fuel Your Body Right! Eating properly for the race can help prevent cramping, bloating and/or fatigue, and help improve your energy the day of the race. Contrary to some rumors, loading on carbohydrates (CHO) the week of the race can be harmful. You want to eat enough carbohydrates to give your body enough fuel for the long run, but too much can cause your body to feel bloated and heavy. A healthy range of carbohydrates is 4.5-5.5 grams per pound of body weight a day, for the week before the race. However, that is for long distance runners. 5K and relay leg runners, your normal diet and CHO intake should be sufficient enough. You can check out more nutrition for running in my other blog titled “Fueling Your Run”.


  1. You Are NOT Alone! You and hundreds of other runners are feeling the same anxiety and excitement, so remember that there is always someone you can talk to the day of the race about silly worries, fears, or anxiety you share. It may be a family member, best friend, or even a stranger you meet that morning. So remember you are not alone, and enjoy the solidarity!


I hope you have found these tips useful. You can check out my other blogs at And check in every Monday for a new post!

Wish everyone the best of luck this Sunday!     

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