Relax and be present

I listened to a great podcast today on one of my favorite podcasts – Endurance Planet. The topic of the conversation was what kinds of positive mantras, quotes, inspirational sayings do people use to get them through races. The guest acknowledged that those things were important and the miles went on, but that in the beginning it is very important to be as relaxed as possible. He said that too many people get themselves all worked with with excitement and pump themselves up to run the perfect race. All that does is increase the adrenaline in the body even more than it already is. He suggests that runners relax as much as possible before a race.

How do you relax before a race? Deep breathing, light stretching and being present are some ways. He said at the beginning and through the whole race you have to be PRESENT. Too many times we are running and worrying about things – finishing time, how I will feel at mile 10, how sore I will be, how tired, at the end, did I train hard enough… all these things drag you down.

I never really thought of it that way. I know that I am not present during most of my training runs. I am always “worried” about how I will do in a race – will I finish good… I can imagine that these same thoughts that I have in my training runs will happen during the race.

He said something really interesting about pain. He said the elite runners are present and can make corrections in their runs. If they have a pain in their foot they do not dwell on the pain in their foot and keep worrying about the pain in their foot.  They do not think about how bad the pain will feel in 5 more miles. They acknowledge they have a pain and take immediate action to correct it.

For some reason this made so much sense to me as I was listening to it today.  Now the hard part will be to follow through. I tend to focus on the pain so I will have to keep this in my mind.

I also found something really good – I am not much of a prayer but this really struck me. Apparently it is from a book called Day by Day: The Notre Dame Prayer Book for Students:

Run by my side – – live in my heartbeat; give strength to my steps.  As the cold confronts me, as the wind pushes me, I know you surround me. As the sun warms me, as the rain cleanses me, I know you are touching me, challenging me, loving me. And so I give you this run; thank you for matching my stride.

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1 Comment

  1. Linda

    That is a cool prayer. You will do great!

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