Top tips for a Warrior Mindset on Race Day

You arrive on race day. You are standing at the starting line, or you are 30kms in, and you feel like you have hit a mental brick wall. Your demons arrive and you hear yourself saying “I can’t do this”.

In these moments what is the difference between success and failure? It’s your mindset.

Kyla Tustin is a passionate and uplifting expert in the field of awakening Human Potential. She coaches people through physical, emotional and mental blocks in their lives and believes in the power of empowering, motivating and inspiring from within. 

Kyla believes all the physical training in the world can only take you so far, and the rest of the race is won in your mind. She shares below some pre-race tips on training the mind in preparation for race day and then awakening your own personal warrior mindset on the day.

Pre-Race Warrior Mindset Training

  • Prepare to hit the wall. It’s important to prepare for this before the race and to decide what steps you will take when you hit the wall. Avoiding thinking about it won’t help, as all successful athletes will agree these moments will occur. If this isn’t your first race it might be useful to think through what you did last time, what worked, what didn’t work or even talk to others about techniques they use – then create a plan. Take some time to ask yourself what positive cues or affirmations you can work with when you are feeling tired, hot, disappointed or your mind keeps telling you that your body is going to give up. Could you shift your attention to your breath and how well you are breathing in that moment?
  • Focus your mind in the direction you want to go. Spend some time visualising your desired outcome before a race. Decide exactly what you want to happen. Imagination, creativity and intention will set great power in motion within your body and mind so that your energy goes where your intention has flowed. 
  • Can’t sleep before races? Take a moment before bed to remind yourself that worry and stress isn’t going to help your race day. Make a choice in that moment to accept what is, take a few deep breaths and then float off to sleep reminding yourself to have faith in all the training you have done.
  • Face your fears. If you still can’t sleep or are feeling super nervous it may be time to write down all your fears, get them out, then tear them up, throw them away and go back to bed.
  • Words and thoughts create your reality” and will have a massive impact on your performance during a race. Check what you are saying to yourself and others before the race, especially notice those very quiet subconscious beliefs and fears, then pull them in alignment of your goal. Belief work is super powerful when it comes to performance training.

Warrior Mindset On Race Day

  • On arrival instead of looking at the competition and comparing yourself, choose to take time to sit down on the earth, connect with your body, breathe and focus your mind. Think about all the training you have done and remind yourself of your desired outcome as you tell yourself “this is my time.”
  • In those race moments when you feel like everything is caving in around you, remind yourself “this too shall pass” … or even create your own Warrior Mantra to overcome “hitting the wall”.
  • Be Present in each section of the race, focus on the immediate task at hand, and if your mind starts to wander bring it back to the next arm stroke, foot placement or peddle movement.
  • Pace yourself. If you are tempted to follow the pack and try to speed past your capacity during the race, mentally remind yourself that “keeping your pace, will lead to success”
  • Celebrate and congratulate yourself on all the effort you have put in to arrive at this moment and remind yourself throughout the race that “this is the moment you have been waiting for, this is your time, and you are going to choose to enjoy it”

Kyla suggests choosing one or two of these tips which really jump out at you and start practicing them. Schedule in some time to do your Pre-Race Warrior Mindset Training and create an “on the day” plan with a few tips to read and remind yourself just before the race.

“A warrior mindset starts with committing to change. Sometimes our powerful ego-mind can come in and try to get you off course by telling you none of this stuff works, you don’t have to do this.” Kyla’s response – we shouldn’t always believe what we think!

You have done so much physical training. You deserve a successful outcome.

Schedule the time for some mental training as well, so that on race day you start with a strong body and a warrior mind!

Good luck athletes – have an amazing day!

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