Many of the world's greatest athletes see visualization as a top technique for their best performance. Basically visualization is seeing and feeling your performance ahead of time. It trains your mind and body for success. I've found that this can also help in other non-sports performance situations.
Here are a few quick tips for visualization for an optimal race experience:
- Take 10 minutes every day week to see and feel how your race WENT. You visualize like it happened already. Like you are telling a story to a friend about a movie that you saw.
- It's best to be relaxed while doing this. Do some basic breathing exercises and lie or sit down with your eyes closed.
- Visualize and fill in the details of what you want to happen like it already happened.
- Visualize Success – always see success – it's important to focus on finishing happily and dealing with any obstacles that may come up along the way.
- Focus on your actions and process – how you feel, what you see, how your feet move, how you breathe, how easy it is to run, how you climb hills smoothly, how coordinated you are and your attitude. It's important to focus on the process and not the outcome (e.g. time). Technically, anything can come up that gets in the way of your time goal (outcome) but you do have control of your attitude throughout the race.
- Aim high but be realistic
- Visualize from inside yourself so as an example feel how your feet will feel in the exercise…don’t watch yourself from afar
- Visualize with all your senses – sight, touch, smell, sound, taste
- Visualize yourself from the moment you get up the morning of the race to the moment you are done, relaxing and enjoying your success.
- Enjoy the process and let me know if you have any other ideas or visualization tips that have worked well for you. Good luck!