By Dr. Robert F. Weiss
One of the more popular road races in the area that starts the season is the Westport Young Women's League Minuteman Race. This race draws thousands of runners from neighboring communities, as well as the New York City metropolitan area.
The race is staged at Compo Beach on Sunday with a 7-8 a.m. registration, with the race starting at 8 a.m.
The mental aspects of racing are very important. Runners need to develop mental toughness in order to succeed in competition. Each and every runner who has ever stepped on a starting line feels the anxiety and experiences the emotions of competition.
A major part of the psychological preparation for a race is making sure that all the pre-race details have been taken care of. The following list contains some helpful hints:
Know the course. Drive over the course or study a map of it.
Know the check-in time and where to report.
Know the starting time and place. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive without having to rush.
Dress in the proper running gear for the weather and course conditions.
Know the points on the course, where the water stations are located, and the hills and flat stretches to plan your racing strategy.
Most athletes find getting "psyched-up" before a race adds to their confidence. Many races are won or lost because of self-confidence. If your training has been going well and you feel fit, it should be easy to convince yourself that you are ready for the task at hand.
Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a Sport Podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials.