Nerves – Its OK to have them on Race Day


race day nerves

We prepare for days, weeks, months, sometimes years for that big race.  But nothing can ever prepare you for that feeling that starts the night before the race and leads up to the starting line.  And for some of use that feeling might start several days before and might not go away until several minutes into a race.

What is that crazy feeling and is it a bad thing?

We all have our opinions, but I am here to tell you it’s not a bad thing.  That feeling we get is called being nervous, and its ok to be nervous for something you are passionate about.  Nerves are a part of each and every one of us, but how we handle them and if we let them affect us, is up to only one person.  That person is the same one you stare in the mirror at on race morning.

So how do we handle our nervous feeling before a race?  Some prefer a beer the night before the race to calm them down.  Some like to show up to the race extra early to get a feeling for the course.  Some like to go thru obstacles and race strategy in their minds to mentally prepare.  Others joke around with friends on race morning to help loosen them up.  Some report on social media to get them excited for the race.  No matter what your strategy, it’s only wrong if it doesn’t work for you.  We all have to find our own way to cope with our nerves.  And once we find what works for us, stick with it and go win races!!

Playing competitive sports from as young as I can remember thru my days as a Division I college athlete, and now walking up to that starting line as an OCR athlete, race day nerves are something that are a part of me.  Each race is different and the nerves can be as severe as throwing up to as little as some minor perspiration or jittery hands.  But understanding the feeling and how to overcome it is a big part of every race day.  Beat your nerves, beat the race, go have fun.

So I leave you with a saying that my dad shared with me when I was young, and words I live by every day in everything I do:

If you aren’t nervous, than you don’t care enough.


  1. Lucas – Great work on the Article and fine words of advice from your dad! As you know, I’m a beer the night before kind of guy. Good Luck in your future adventure events. – Willie


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