Wed 23 Aug 2023 Erica Faulhaber MA NCC LPC

Mental & Emotional Health: For Training & Race Day


Training for a race can be a mentally and emotionally challenging experience. The dedication, discipline, and focus required can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. However, staying mentally and emotionally strong during training is essential for achieving your goals along with reaching your full potential on race day. Here are some tips to help you stay mentally and emotionally strong during training and in the lead up to race day.

1. First, remember why you run. What is your motivation and intention for running? Is there a personal value that helps you connect with your why for running? For example, you might value freedom or adventure or challenge. Is running something you enjoy and that helps you connect to your body?

2. Second, express gratitude for your body’s ability to run and all the senses that are engaged while running. As you run, can you engage your 5 Senses:

  • SEE  
    • Nature’s beauty all around you
  • FEEL
    • Your feet connecting with the ground and the breeze on your skin
  • HEAR 
    • The calmness around you, the gentle breeze moving through the trees
    • The summer air changing into fall along with the foliage around you
    • The cool water on your lips as you hydrate, the food that fuels your run

3. Third, it is important to set realistic goals and to break them down into smaller, achievable milestones. This will help you to stay focused on your progress and to feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. Celebrating small victories can help to boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going.

4. Fourth, it is important to take care of your mental health throughout the training process. This means prioritizing rest, recovery, and self-care. Make sure to get enough sleep, nourishing yourself (adequate fueling for the activity level), and engage in activities that bring you joy. This will help to reduce stress and anxiety, and keep you in a positive mindset.

5. Last, it is important to surround yourself with a supportive community. This can include friends, family, coaches, or fellow athletes. Having people who believe in you and support your goals can help to keep you motivated and mentally strong. It is also important to remember that setbacks are a natural part of the training process. Don't be too hard on yourself and remember to stay positive and focused on your goals.

 Staying mentally strong during training and in the lead up to race day is essential for achieving your goals and reaching your full potential. By setting realistic goals, prioritizing self-care, and surrounding yourself with a supportive community, you can overcome the mental and emotional challenges of training in order to come out stronger on race day.

New Directions Colorado

Erica Faulhaber, MA, NCC, LPC

Certified EMDR Therapist & EMDR Consultant In Training



671 Mitchell Way, Suite 212

Erie, CO 80516

C: 720-306-1631

Fax:  720-547-6955

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