You put in a lot of time and miles getting ready for your races. Your daily training runs insure that you will be physically prepared to go the distance. But did you know that mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation? Visualization is one of the simplest tools to get you get ready to race and you should be using it in your training as well. Read on to learn how to use it.
Use visualization to get mentally ready for your speed workouts so you are not just going through the motions. You should always know your workout and its goals in advance so that when you lace up your shoes the expectations are clear and you are ready to get to work. Prior to the workout, picture yourself running and accomplishing the goals of the workout. If the goal is to hit intervals within a certain range, imagine yourself doing this successfully and feeling good. If its a workout you don’t like, don’t spend your time dreading it. Instead focus running it well and telling yourself that you will succeed today.
Use visualization during a workout to teach your brain and your body how different paces feel. Workouts train your body to adapt to different speeds and conditions and with visualization your can train your brain as well. Instead of mindlessly running at a certain pace, use this time to zone in and focus on on how it feels, what your breathing is like, and how hard you are having to work. File these away because they will come in handy when you are visualizing yourself running a race.
Use visualization during training runs to train yourself how to handle various weather and course conditions. Let’s face it, you don’t get to pick the weather conditions on race day and while you may have a choice on your races not all courses are flat and scenic! Next time it is windy and rainy picture yourself having a great race in those conditions. Next time you encounter a hill on a training run, attack it and visualize yourself passing other runners in a race.
Visualization will positively reinforce the hard work you have put into your training. When you complete a particularly difficult workout, allow it to build your confidence. Congratulate yourself and be proud of of what you accomplished. Then when you are in a racing and that inner voice is trying to get you slow down, you can remember how well you did in practice and confidently silence it!
If you have not ever used visualization or trained yourself to be mentally prepared, perhaps you should consider working with a coach to hone these skills. I am currently interviewing new coaching clients for my one on one virtual coaching program. Click Here to apply.