Mental Race Plan…


You have spent months preparing your body for race day.  You train when you feel good, you train when you’re tired and feel bad. You eat well and supplement to ensure you’re recovering between workouts and now race day is here and your body is ready to perform.  But what about your mind? Regardless of your physical readiness and your stellar nutrition plan, if you have not created a solid mental race plan, you could be selling your performance and ability short, or worse, setting yourself up for an all systems failure.


The latter actually happened to a good friend of mine at our last race.  He had trained for months, every day, getting stronger and faster and on paper should have dominated this race. He rarely, if ever, missed a training day and his nutrition couldn’t have been cleaner. Yet as we were toeing the line to start the race the one critical piece of his training puzzle that was missing bit him in right the ass like that dog that finally got loose on the mailman. His race was literally over before it even started. He forgot about his mental race plan.


To create your own mental race plan follow these steps, and feel free to edit any step or add another step if it helps you but do not skip any of the steps below.


  1. Day before the race nutrition
    1. Have this planned ahead of time so you know on race morning your tank is full with exactly what you need to perform your best
    2. Although this isn’t necessarily mental, practicing with this fueling strategy in training will give you the piece of mind that it works
  2. A few weeks prior to your race, or as far ahead as you can, begin to visualize race day
    1. What time will you wake up
      1. What will you do if you oversleep
    2. What will you eat
      1. Mentally rehearse chewing slowly and intently to properly digest your pre-race fuel
    3. Driving to the race
      1. See yourself sitting up straight in your vehicle, holding the wheel at 10 & 2 and practicing focused/confident box breathing
    4. Warm-up
      1. Visualize exactly how you will execute your warm-up
    5. See the start line and your competition (this is a big one)
      1. Visualize walking to the start, box breathing, and create a mantra that gives you confidence and power
      2. Mantra example: “I’ve trained for this, I am ready, I am strong, I am confident”
    6. If you are racing an OCR and have the ability to view the obstacles ahead of time, or know what they are from a previous race, mentally rehearse exactly how you will complete each one
    7. If competing in a triathlon or other event, visualize exactly how you will begin your race- if a multi-sport race, visualize the start of each discipline along with transitions between
    8. Mentally plan for roadblocks during the race i.e. failing an obstacle, a flat tire, a cramp, extreme fatigue, legs that feel like lead, etc. Create a mental plan to overcome each/any of these that could apply to you on race day
    9. Create a mental anchor and mantra that when the going gets REALLY tough during the race, you visualize this anchor and repeat this mantra to give you confidence and strength
    10. Meditate while box breathing going over each of the steps above at least 3 times per week.If you can do it daily, or even pieces of it daily that is even better


Again, feel free to add any step that could help you perform better on your big day. Put as much practice into your mind as you do your physical training and you will set yourself up for an incredible day!  If you need help creating your personal mental race plan email mo@linkendurance.comfor a consult.