Visualization is a tool you can your to run a better race. It as simple as imagining yourself having a successful race. It is just as important that you show up to your race mentally prepared to run as it is physically prepared to run. If you have never practiced visualization you will be surprised by what a difference it makes in how you feel going into the race as well as with the results of your race.
To practice visualization you rehearse in your mind how you will execute your race under varying circumstances. Making time go over your race in your mind is just as important as the physical preparation. If you know the race course, then picture running it in your mind and imagine feeling strong. If there are hills imagine powerfully attacking them. Study the weather conditions for race day and imagine yourself running well even if its hot and humid or cold and rainy.
When you see yourself having a a great race your mind will learn to expect it. Your body will automatically respond because it already knows what to do. This allows you to approach the starting line with confidence
Visualization can also be used in conjunction with your training runs and speed workouts. The day before your speed workouts imagine yourself successfully completing it and nailing all your times. During the workout itself imagine that you are in an actual race. This is especially helpful if you are running goal pace workouts because you can use this an an opportunity to train your brain on how the pace will feel and to positively reinforce it. On easy paced runs you can visualize running in the race, just be careful not to push the pace.
Using visualization will keep you focused in your race. Negative thoughts can creep in and set you up for a bad race. However, if you have rehearsed various scenarios in your head beforehand, your mind will know how to tell your body how to respond. This will allow you to confidently take on challenges the race presents.
If you have never tried visualization I encourage you to do so. If you have leave a comment below or over on my Facebook page and share how it has helped you!