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How to mentally prepare for a race with mindset coach Trang Nguyen

May 13, 2022

How to mentally prepare for a race with mindset coach Trang Nguyen

As an endurance athlete, ahead of a race you’ve done everything else to prepare – you train your arse off, have your nutrition dialled in, have the fast wheels, shaved down, done all the things BUT if your mind is not in it, your race performance is not likely to result in what you’re truly capable of.


Who doesn’t need practical strategies to prepare mentally for race day? To quieten down pre-race nerves, get out of a dark hole during a race and ultimately achieve your goal.

My podcast guest, Physiotherapist, Running Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, qualified PT and Mindset and Performance Coach, Trang Nguyen shared some great strategies to implement to mentally prepare for a race.

Weeks and even months before

  • Be aware of the stories you’re telling yourself
  • Stay conscious and aware of how you’re going as a whole (don’t focus on the one or two things that haven’t gone well)
  • Gather and focus on the evidence that proves to yourself how good you are
  • Use a journal

Race week (when the pre-race nerves are kicking in)

  • Shift your state
  • Visualisation – but make it a strong visualisation by using all the senses
  • Use future programming visualisation – start by visualising 5 minutes post-race, then work backwards

The night before a race

  • Different for everyone
  • Either zone out/distract yourself, or stay in the zone and focus. Visualise

Race day (Nervous, not hungry, been to the toilet multiple times? How to stay zen and focused...)

  • Again, different for everyone
  • Either zone out/distract yourself – talk to others, visit the race tent, take photos, OR
  • Stay in the zone and focus, put in your earphones, warm up by yourself, use visualisation

During a race (when it’s starting to hurt, maybe you’re falling into a dark place and you’re questioning why you’re doing this stupid sport in the first place)

  • Ignore the pain and focus your attention on something else – trick your mind
  • Imagine the reward or visualise the feeling after the race

Take a listen to Episode 41 of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast to learn the very clever ways you can harness your mind to help you achieve your goals – be it for a race or life in general.

Check out our podcast HERE.


Connect with Trang 


Listen to the Aligned Performance Podcast



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