Eating spicy food the night before a long run, washing your shorts without checking the pockets for your iPod - some mistakes you make only once. But when it comes to racing, we tend to err in the same ways over and over.
“Runners become irrational beings during race time,” says Barbara Walker, Ph.D., a sports psychologist with the Center for Human Performance in Cincinnati - and it’s hard to simulate race-day anxiety and excitement in training.
While you needn’t dwell on mistakes, analyzing your performance - in good races and in bad - may be the best thing you can do to improve your times. Here’s how to handle four common race-day saboteurs.