Got Pre-race Jitters?

I’m 2 weeks away from my first race of the season (3/24) and I’m already starting to feel nervous.  In fact, it hit me last week.  I wasn’t expecting to feel so nervous so I started to ask myself why am I nervous?  I’m neither a new runner nor a new racer.   So, why do I have the jitters?

2013 nervous

I tend to analyze things (yeah, maybe I over think them) to try to calm my anxiety.  I started to think about all the positives:

  • I am well trained.  (I compared this year’s first 10 weeks of training to last year’s training.  The mileage is almost the same).
  • I can definitely run a 10k distance.
  • I love running.
  • I have been running lots of hills.  (Many more hills this year than last).
  • I have no time expectations since I don’t have much experience with trail running.
  • I am strong.
  • I love challenges!!!

Then, I was negative Nellie and listed all the fears and negative thoughts:

  • I don’t know the course.
  • This race has a tough climb.
  • I don’t know how to pace myself for a trail race.
  • What if I come in last?
  • Maybe I’m just too damn competitive.

I try to remember that I chose trail running this season to have fun and not place any pressure on myself (trying to set PR’s etc).

Comments like this one help me put things into perspective…………

“A race is simply a 100 percent effort. And a good race is one in which we find our correct effort level for that day and then maintain it from start to finish.”

If you’d like to read more about the mental side of racing, here are some great articles:

Do you get nervous before racing?  How do you calm your fears? 


2 thoughts on “Got Pre-race Jitters?

  1. I’ll try, Jan! And, yes, I always get pre-race jitters. You should see how many times I have to visit the outhouse before the race begins. 🙂

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