How to Overcome Insecurities and Run Your Best Race

My daughter is a HS sophmore. She trained summer running before frosh year. She ran xc - trained winter running - ran track - ran summer before this year, but is having trouble with the fact that some runners do not train in off season but are running a minute or more faster in their 5K when last xc season they were equal.


I have tried to get her to run her own race and not concentrate on others running, but it is hard not to compare yourself with something as definite as a clock. She can run a 6 min mile but this year she is PR at 22:02 on 5K. What can I suggest to help her get her head back in the game and just concentrating on running her best? She is frustrated that with all her training she should be improving, yet she is running slower?

Thanks for any tips you can give me...

If she is in good shape, then she needs to get out a little harder at the start so she is on good pace right away. Running can be very mentally tough, so try and stay positive as she works through this stretch. Perhaps she is just a bit tired from all the training, and she will break out with a good race later in the season when the coach will probably start tapering back the miles for the bigger races.

This of course is all speculation, but usually, if you have done the work, this is a matter of confidence. Do you have any of her other races videotaped? Have her watch races from last year so she can see herself running again.

I'm big on mental imagery. Have her replay the successful races she has had in the past in her head. Then, prepare mentally for the upcoming race. Set out goal times for each mile split, and strategy for each mile of the race. Be specific in the approach to the races so she is focused on the course and her plan instead of the other girls. Watch the video below for more tips.



Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

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