Endurance Challenge - Your Mind Matters

Posted on by Jack Burdick

The ups and downs that I have emotionally encountered throughout race days (endurance challenges) are incredible.  One minute, I would be feeling the best I’ve ever felt, the next minute I would be near tears, and another 30 seconds later I would be laughing hysterically by myself in the middle of a trail.  Although these emotions may seem intimidating, with some preparation, they are controllable.  I’ve personally found that many of my instabilities during a race stem from either dehydration or pure exhaustion, and although these are both seemingly difficult obstacles to conquer, it is possible. Here Are a Few Tips: 1. Get as much sleep as possible the week leading up to the race.  It is likely that the night before the race you won’t sleep as well as you normally do -the excitement of the race tends to disrupt competitors normal sleep cycles.  But by getting a few solid nights rest leading up to the race, you can help combat the loss of sleep you may lose the night before a race. 2. Stay hydrated. Hydration is the most important aspect of your race and should not be neglected.  You should be hydrating enough to where you do not become thirsty during the race.  Hydration starts before the race begins and continues after the race as well. 3. Bring a support crew. Having someone to offer support and cheer you on throughout the race can make all the difference.  When you feel down or you feel tired, having someone there to assure you that you are doing well and remind you to continually hydrate is extremely beneficial. If you ever plan to compete in an endurance challenge (ultra-marathons, ironman) know that it is an event where you are straining your body for nearly half of a day, you are bound to experience some new emotions; it’s just the nature of endurance events.  But don’t let the emotions get the best of you, preparing by getting rest, hydrating, and if possible bringing a support crew can help to combat these emotions and even possibly prevent the emotions from occurring in the first place.