How to implement visualization
- Relax! Choose a quiet dark place with no distractions, and begin by relaxing your entire body, from your head to your toes. Think of a beautiful, quiet place. Once your mind and body are at piece, begin the visualization.
- Set the scene. Using your list of race scenarios, see the starting area with your minds eye. Feel the breeze on your skin, hear the noises of the crowd. Develop a mental picture involving all senses before you begin the race.
- Focus on emotional and physical sensations. Feel the doubts and nerves of the starting line but use positive language to overcome them. “I AM a runner, I CAN do this, I AM supposed to be here.” Once the gun goes off and you begin the race in your mind focus on calming and relaxing, and establishing a solid rhythm. Visualize the pain of the race and with your mind’s eye look at the other runners around you, tell yourself that they are experiencing the same pain that you are.
- See a positive outcome. Imagine the finishing time that you wish to achieve displayed on a giant clock above you as you soar across the finish line with arms outstretched, imagine the feeling of joy as all of your hard work pays off. Imagine your family and supporters rushing toward you, filled with pride.
- Repeat. Insert a different situation from your list of possible race details (different weather, etc…) and repeat the process. Make sure to visualize at least 1-2 nights leading up to the big day.
However, if you’re already pushing your physical limits and want to take your race performances to another level, incorporating visualization techniques into your training and racing can provide the advantage you need.
–Running Within by John Lynch.