Visualization is a strong performance tool that can assist you while racing. If you are what you eat, then you are what you think, too. This strategy is used in every sport so here are some tips to help your vision become reality.
We have a runner in our group who utilizes the image of a gazelle whenever she is feeling the stress and tightness associated with running. Focusing on the light and efficient foot strikes, relaxing her breathing and upper body, she finds the run becoming easier. Anytime you feel your shoulders hike up, remember the gazelle…
Take that gazelle image and then choose a runner that you admire. When you focus on that particular runner, imagine that you are running alongside them, matching strides, form and breathing patterns. In a race, pick out someone who is looking good and running relaxed. As you watch them, you’ll likely look good and relax too.
Typically, racers go out too fast and burn up the energy that they need to utilize for the entire run. When you visualize your race, you need to visualize a measured and controlled start. It helps to have run the course a few times or consulted the race map if it’s in an unfamiliar city. If there are going to be hills, you should train hills but also visualize how you’re planning to tackle the hills. Will you keep your eyes at the top of the hill and use short choppy strokes? What about arm swing? You can even incorporate a power song to help you through that portion of the run. If you want to be at a certain spot in the course by a certain song on your playlist, visualize that too.