How to achieve your race target

Stay relaxed on the start line – run happy

Worried about not getting your race target or worse, not even finishing? The key to success and running happy on race day is all in the mind…

Don’t worry, we’re not about to get all Uri Geller on you. BUT paying attention to how you prepare mentally for a race, is just as important as your physical training and what you eat the morning of the race.

‘Negative thinking is natural, and the only difference between those with winning behaviour, is how you nullify it so it doesn’t preoccupy you,’ explains Yehuda Shinar, Think Like a Winner, £12.99 (Vermillion), who worked with the England Rugby team to help them to a World Cup victory in 2003.

Shinar recommends: ‘In the case of running, each distance has its own set of rules about how you should train, and another set that each person will learn through their own individual training.

‘Focus on these rules and write a goal plan, detailing what you are going to do at each stage of the race.’

By writing a plan, you can be prepared in advance for every eventuality to help prevent anxiety.

And when it comes to the pressure of trying to achieve your race goal,  overcome this by preparing three race goals.

One is a time that you should be able to get without too much trouble,  another a time that you know you can get, like a recent PB and the third, your ideal, dream goal.

Every mile or so, readjust according to these targets and how well you feel like you are runinng.

With this tactic, you are more likely to stay relaxed because you have prepared and have control over the outcome

So, whether you’re running the Brighton Half Marathon in a week’s time, the marathon in April, or even your first ever Parkrun, take time out to prepare mentally and you’ll run happy.