Maybe you’re feeling nervous about your upcoming race. It’s typical to have pre-race nerves. If you’re not trying to PR or BQ why not take the pressure off and just run for fun?
Here are five tips for keeping it fun . . .
How to Keep it Fun at Your Next Marathon
- Unplug from music during the start, sections with lots of fan support and the finish. Tune into the race atmosphere. If you’re wearing headphones reserve your music or podcasts for times when you really need the extra energy. By experiencing the race (or parts of it) with all of your senses you’ll have a much richer sense of enjoyment.
- Observe– notice signs, people cheering for you, signs to punch for power and hands to slap. Look at houses, landscaping, people in costume and any unusual sights. You’ll notice things from a running perspective that you wouldn’t see otherwise. Plus you’re getting to run on city streets without having to worry about traffic.
- Smile– it actually takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. Plus, it’s been shown that smiling lowers your blood pressure, heart rate and provides pain relief. You will also be perceived as being more attractive if you smile (even if you’re a sweaty mess) and smiling is contagious. So, the next time you’re running put a smile on your face (and not just when you see the race photographers). (2)
- Unleash your inner extrovert. Running can break down a lot of barriers. Talk to people (or yourself if you want to). Something as simple as “have you run this race before?” can be a conversation starter. Encourage people who pass you or those you see on out and backs either verbally or by giving them a wave. Try something new like food along the course, make faces at the photographers, sing to the music from the bands or DJ’s, put your name on your shirt, or wear a fun outfit.
- Enjoy what your body can do. Sure, every part of a race isn’t going to be fun. There will inevitably be discomfort involved. But be sure to thank your body for its general awesomeness. Keep a positive mantra running through your head. I always feel a deep sense of gratitude for every single marathon and don’t take it for-granted.