• Pre-Race Anxiety


    This ailment is very common among endurance athletes. It typically begins rearing its ugly head in the two to three weeks prior to race day. A small itch, so to speak. The worst of it begins seven days out from the race and reaches peak intensity in the 24 hours prior to when the start gun fires.

    Some common ailment symptoms:

    Retail therapy and viva la Visa!   Athletes make multiple purchases online or at local stores – sometimes duplicating purchases “just in case.” In the worst scenarios, athletes will pay exorbitant amounts for next day delivery.

    Meltdowns over small issues: This symptom can be observed in family, work or training situations. Something as small as spilled sports drink on a training ride can send the athlete into a panicked frenzy.

    Indecision: The athlete finds each decision situation as an impossible puzzle. For example, trying to decide which restaurant to select requires four hours (minimum) of contemplation and research. For engineers and accountants, spreadsheets are certainly involved in finding the optimal answer.

    Obsessive list-making: This one is easy to spot as dozens of “to do” lists and sticky notes are found everywhere the athlete has been. Everything but the kitchen sink: The athlete takes every item possibly needed for the event, including at least one back-up for each item. He or she includes items that couldn’t possibly be needed for the event—plus back-ups for those as well.

    Crabby pants: Some racers become withdrawn and have low-level crabbiness for no real reason.

    You probably know, I’m exaggerating. Somewhat. Maybe not.

    I’m not exempt, I have some of the pre-race anxiety symptoms now.

    What are your pre-race anxiety symptoms?

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