It is five days out from the Big Dance; the remaining time is crucial if you want to earn a decent showing for your 42.195K. Start thinking about what will go right on race day. Rehearse the plot for your big day out. Focus on images and sensations of how your ideal day will turn out. Here are some reminder and visualisation tips for preparing smartly and effectively for your long-distance endurance race:
1) Decide on a pace and religiously stick to it.
2) Your second 21K may be slower, so make allowance for it. A negative-split is possible if you are disciplined.
3) Be mindful of how you feel. Use measurements like RPE, heart-monitor, the official-pacers, and your intuition to guide you.
4) Drink from every aid-station, whether you are thirsty or not.
5) Stop and walk at the aid-station. There is no shame. Better to slow down and ensure proper nutrition, then to miss each mouthful in style.
6) Keep to the left when not over-taking. Give a gentle verbal warning if you need to over-take; never show your frustration.
7) Break your race goals into smaller, manageable bits. Every kilometre covered is an achievement.
8) Derive and seek inspiration from around you. Draw upon the positive energy of the supporters, cheer-team, official-pacers, and fellow athletes (including the physically-challenged).
9) Focus on the finisher-medal and t-shirt. These will be your badges of honour. You will wear it with pride after you cross the finishing-line.
10) Write a list of mantras that you respond positively to. Avoid ‘Don’t’ and rule-driven words. Focus on purpose-driven self-talk.
Whatever the results, have an amazing out there. You are already a champion for training and showing up on race morning!