With New York City abuzz with the excitement of the impending New York City Marathon, it’s no surprise that part of that electricity stems from the communal sense of anxiety felt by tomorrow’s runners. The feeling of excitement is almost palpable. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to go over steps that (any) marathon runners can take in order to reduce nerves and focus on a good run when it comes to a marathon.
Reduce Route Surprises
If you live in the same city as the marathon, make a point to incorporate the course into your training. If that’s not possible, find out the specifics of the route and try to simulate those same conditions when training. This will help eliminate surprises in your endurance or in how you feel during the day of the actual marathon.
Plan Your Day
If you are traveling to a new city for the marathon, take time before your trip to plan out your itinerary. Leave enough time to get into the city so that you will be able to have a good night’s sleep before the day of the race. Also, look at your schedule for any down time. Quiet time can often lead to undue stress or anxiety about the marathon, so make sure that you bring distractors to fill this time. That could mean reading a book or magazine, or just having your phone ready for some Sudoku.
Another important way to prepare for the marathon is to bring earplugs. The yelling from the crowd can definitely be inspiring, but it can also lead to you unintentionally increasing your pace in the beginning of the marathon. You don’t want to do that because you will likely burn out when you need your strength most later on. Conserve your energy and start a bit slower than you think you need to. Additionally, leave those earplugs in to help avoid audio distractions while you are running. However, when you come to those difficult parts on the route, make a point to take them out so that you can hear the encouragement from the onlookers. Take advantage of the fact that they are cheering you on!
While consistent training is another necessary component to performing well during a marathon, these tips will help you get through those day of jitters!