Q: Controlling pre-race nerves?

Lauren,

Do you get nervous before a race?  And what do you do to control it?  I’ve heard mixed things, like its good to be nervous, but I’ve also heard its really really bad.

Jeff Hyun, Los Angeles

 

A:

Jeff- Being nervous is natural, but it can completely destroy your performance.  When nerves come in, I acknowledge them, and simplify things:

“Come on lauren, you’re not saving the world here. You are putting one foot in front of the other and seeing how fast you can run 12.5 laps.  Just do the best you can today and you’ll be happy.”

Sometimes, I have to say it 100 times before a race, but it keeps me calm.  My best races have always been when I’m relaxed at the start line and hold back excitement until the last 20% of the race.

-Lauren