Race with a Positive Mindset

Last week, a TrainwithMarc runner emailed me about an upcoming race.  She felt she wasn’t as prepared as she could have been, so she dropped down from the marathon to the half marathon.  We eased her back into full training and her confidence came back.  Then race week happened and all of that nervous energy turned her confidence into mush.  She contemplated not even racing!  That’s how much she dreaded this race.

We talked about how to overcome those nerves by staying positive, focusing on the miles and workouts she completed, rather than the ones she missed.  These talks certainly helped, but I’m not sure she totally believed in herself.

After the race, I got another email from her.  This time, she spoke about things she did to remove the pressure and stress of the half marathon (like not look at her watch) – and focus on one thing: running. 

During the race, she pushed the pace because she felt so good.  She didn’t worry about two of her biggest stressors: walking and getting passed.  Instead, she focused on passing people and on being smooth and controlled throughout.  And you know what? She passed lots of people and didn’t have to walk at all!  Two huge victories!

She even had it in her to out kick someone – and good thing as that lady was in her age group and would have bumped her out of the top 3.  On top of all of these challenges, setbacks, and turning points, she came away with a huge, shiny PR!  Glenda was able to lop 2 minutes and 34 seconds off her last personal best!


Having a running coach can help in so many ways.  For example, Glenda told me “I know that my training plan from you was huge in this.  Also, just your pointing out the mileage I had from the month was better than I realized made me think I maybe wasn’t missing as many runs as I thought.  That gave me a little more confidence as I ran that maybe I did have the endurance to finish this race strong.”

When you have self-doubts, what do you do to overcome them?

Here are great stories about self-doubt and overcoming it:

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