Do you get nervous before racing?

I read a post on Run Addicts website yesterday looking at what your race pre race personality is. The choices were loners and social butterflies. It made me smile as now I come to think of it I know both.

I am however definitely a loner! The article says that loners –

 ‘avoid all distractions and focus on getting mentally psyched up to race. They’ll usually listen to music using headphones, further isolating themselves. In addition to isolation, music helps this type of runner get geared up to race by increasing energy levels (think hard rock or rap music)’ 

My music is dance music though, rap and rock does nothing for me when running but they almost got it right!

I get really nervous before races. I don’t know why as it’s not like I end up winning them, although I am racing against myself and going for a time so I guess technically in my eyes if I beat my PR/PB then i have won. I find I need to shut the world up in the line up and just calm down ready for the race to start.

I remember running the Ipswich Park2Park race and I was so nervous. I was beside myself. I wasn’t even that nervous when I ran my marathons and half marathons but I think for me it was two things: 1. the knowing that the race was a tough one – the Park2Park is very hilly and I had trained hard but who knows what happens on race day, and 2. I was running with a group of girls, one of which had ‘coached’ me and helped me with my training and I didn’t want to let her down. I think i went to the toilet at least 4 times before that race. I plugged into my headphones and didn’t really talk to anyone and pushed. I did ok, not the best (see my write up on it) but I was glad it was over because of the nerves.

I used to get into rituals before training like I had to go to the toilet twice before starting my run otherwise i’d always need to go on the way round but I think a lot of that is psychological and my brain trying to get some control over the situation, funny isn’t it!

I found when I did more low keys races like the Park2Park and the Brisbane Road Runners races that I was ok, so that’s where my concentration lies for 2012. Who knows, maybe i’ll even become more of a butterfly than  a loner!

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