Nerves before your triathlon are inevitable, but it's how you deal with these nerves that can make a big difference to your race performance. In this video, Heather gives her top 10 hacks to calm your race day nerves.
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Race day nerves are thought of as negative but if the event means enough to you then they’re inevitable. We feel nervous when our mind senses that something significant is about to happen so it sends signals to the body that trigger the fight or flight response.
The response is part of the autonomic nervous system. It's the sympathetic branch and the adrenal-cortisol system that regulate the fight or flight reaction. This system was essential in primitive man, when they sensed danger the brain would send out signals for the body to be ready to fight or flee by sending blood and therefore oxygen to the muscles in preparation and taking it away from organs such as the stomach that don’t require it. Hence why you’d struggle to digest a big meal whilst nervous.
As a response to hormones being released, you’ll notice certain symptoms such as increased perspiration, sweaty palms and an increased heart rate increase. Some people will feel nauseous and some will even be physically sick with nerves. Importantly though, you’ll feel more alert which is a sign your body is ready to deal with what your brain is telling it is coming up.
These feelings might all have negative connotations but it is how we choose to label nerves and what we associate them with. For example, an increased heart rate is really helpful at the start of a race as you need the increased blood flow to get your muscles ready to work.
It’s also worth noting that we will all have different responses and feelings to nerves but it’s how we deal with those that will affect our actual performance. So, here are our 10 hacks to calm your race day nerves...
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