It’s in our human nature to feel uncertain about many things as we approach that important goal or event. It’s easy to worry about how fit you really are, if your nutrition is going to work out, whether your training programme was good enough, or if you really should have done more and not missed that 90 minute run a couple of weeks back. Are you fresh enough? Fast enough? What will the weather do? Who else is running? Even the world’s best go through this rigmarole of questions. You shouldn’t feel bad about feeling this way.
Here’s a few points to consider and remember in the lead-up to your next event:
There are many ways to skin a cat
When eight sprinters line up for the 100m final at the Olympics, you can bet your bottom dollar that they all took different paths, regimes and methods to arrive there. The Jamaicans do it different to the Americans, who do it different to the Canadians, who do it different to the Australians. There’s no doubt that the old school coach in question here has had many a success using the methods he so lovingly shared at this helpful time. Equally, we have had many great successes at James Kuegler Coaching using the methods with which the athlete in question was employing. Horses for courses; each to their own; there’s many ways to skin a cat, the clichés go on. Sometimes you’ve just got to “put the blinders on” and get on with your own methods.
Trust the process
An adjunct to the above; you’ve trusted the process this far, so there’s really no reason you should begin to doubt it now. As we’ve touched on, this self-doubt or uncertainty is a natural but superficial response to much deeper expectations of yourself. Your programme and/or coach has got you this far, and you should trust that they will carry you to the end. There’s not many cases where this doesn’t hold true, so long as you did your due diligence months ago when you set out to prepare for your event (i.e. you chose a programme from a reliable and respected source, or your coach is similarly as reliable, respected and experienced).
Whether you learn from this article or from your own experience, it’s paramount that you are prepared in many ways. As above, make sure your programme is a good one – this comes first! Obviously, make sure you’ve followed the programme and done the work physically (we would suggest you achieve a minimum of 90% of planned sessions). Trial and practice your nutrition; simulate your race day once or twice ahead of the event. Perhaps the less-commonly discussed topic is to be prepared for the superficial self-doubt that will almost always happen before an event! It may last for three straight weeks, or it could be as minor as 30 minutes of nervousness before the starting hooter goes, but just know it could come and prepare to reassure yourself. Some people will look back at their training diary, some will meditate and some will confide in their coach, family or friends for that last-minute ancillary confidence. Be prepared and it will be but a blemish in your preparation for an enjoyable and successful run.
How do you personally go about dealing with pre-race uncertainties? Let us know in the comments section below. If you could do with more confidence in your programme and preparation, get in touch with us here.