Coach Tip: Visualization
By: Doctor Shiloh Beckerley PhD
You’re finally starting the taper before your big race – and you are starting to go stir crazy. Suddenly your daily workout is cut short – or is not there at all – leaving you with far too much time on your hand to nervously anticipate your upcoming race. Instead of turning to Netflix – use this time to visualize your success in your upcoming race.
Visualization has long been a part of elite athletes’ success, and researchers have shown that it improves performance in a wide range of sports, including endurance sports. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just set aside 10 minutes to quietly picture a successful race day in as much detail as possible. Be specific in your thoughts and use all of your senses.
Often, when trying this out, new runners will tend to imagine their race from a birds-eye view. Others tend to visualize the race through their own eyes, looking ahead at the racecourse in front of them. To get the biggest performance boost, researcher suggests alternating between these perspectives. So, some days, visualize yourself from a birds-eye view, crushing the hills and speeding past your competition – but other days, visualize the race through a first-person perspective – feeling strong and seeing the finish line only steps ahead of you.