Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeRunningRunners: ditch your superstitions - Canadian Running Magazine

Runners: ditch your superstitions – Canadian Running Magazine


As a runner, you know that race day can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Some days, you spend your time wracking your brain to make sure you follow the exact same steps you took last time you had a good race –right down to wearing the same (unwashed) “lucky” socks. If something doesn’t go to plan, or your luggage goes missing, this superstition now becomes a major obstacle, rather than a good luck charm. If superstitions aren’t helping you, why let them control you?

man with headache and pain

Having a routine that makes you feel good is important. But with travelling, eating at restaurants, sleeping in hotels, unpredictable race weather or items forgotten from the packing list, being adaptable can be beneficial and help set you up for success, no matter what.

These are some of the most common superstitions that I’ve seen.

  • Wearing the same race socks, despite massive holes
  • Needing very specific pre-race food, just because you once ate it before a good race.
  • Always sticking to the same hairstyle–dutch braids into a ponytail with a bow to match your race top.
  • Needing a specific brand of (takeout) coffee. Hotel coffee, McDonald’s coffee, home-brewed coffee–they just won’t do.
  • Completing a very specific warmup: fixed order of stretches, five reps of each drill and the same hype-up song.

Toast with peanut butter and jam

News flash: wearing clean socks, skipping the braids, or eating a bagel with cream cheese instead of a PB&J is not going to deter you from having a good race.

My tip: have confidence that you have the fitness and the mental resilience to race your hardest. Don’t give the credit for an amazing race to a pair of socks! That is your hard work that got you there. If you feel yourself developing a superstition, why not fight it?Purposely try to lean away from relying on those very particular routines. If you are unafraid to switch things up, you will ingrain in your mind that you have the ability to race your hardest on race day. Good fortune has nothing to do with it!

four leaf clover

With everything that could potentially go wrong, recondition your mind to interpret things as just going differentlyIf you avoid developing rigid superstitions and instead set goals to be flexible, positive and self-assured, “different” will have no effect on your long-awaited race.



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