Tips for Staying Calm on Race Day*

Tuesday, 12 July 2016, By Neil Gillett


Tips for Staying Calm on Race Day

Do you find yourself nervous or anxious on race day? Questioning if you can hit your goal time… or worse, whether you will even make the finish line? Do stress and negative thoughts dominate your mind and body in those final moments before the start gun?

Well guess what...

 It's ok, you're human like the rest of us!

Being a little nervous is a good thing. It means youcare, and your goal isimportantto you. However, the key is to stop anxiety and negativity from taking over. Here are some tips that I find handy for staying calm on race day!

1.Your training

It all starts at from the time you set that goal and find, create or are given your training plan. Stick to the plan, do the hard work from the get go, know your physical preparation has been up to scratch and your body is ready. This includes a good taper (and maybe a slight carb-load?)

2.Be prepared

Why make things worse by running around worrying, getting stressed about the little things on the morning of the race that could've been avoided with a little forethought and preparation? Have your race gear laid out and ready, have your nutrition sorted and if necessary your bag packed with everything else you need. Plan your travel and arrival time, and aim to arrive early.

3.Separate yourself from the world

Keep to yourself and listen to some calming, relaxing music, be it classical, hip hop, or the velvety pipes of Frank Sinatra. Focus on taking it slow, deep breaths and relaxing your body and mind (a cheeky bathroom break probably wouldn't hurt either!). Once you have arrived early you don't need to go straight to the start line. Stay away from the crowds and those who may be anxious and nervous themselves, which could affect you.


Know the reward that will come your way at the end, motivate yourself with the feeling of success and accomplishment you will have once you achieve your goal.


Fill your mind with positive images. Close your eyes and picture yourself running (or cycling, swimming etc.) the race, crossing the finish line and creating success. What the mind believes the body achieves!


You're cool, calm and collected. You've trained and prepared like a demon. You deserve to hit that goal, finish that race, and smash that personal best. Get out there and dominate like the champions you are!


Yours in racing,

Neil Gillett

Vision Personal Training Neutral Bay

NSW Personal Trainer of the Year 2014


*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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