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16 May, 2021
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Preparing For The Race With Kevin Waimana Viezee

Preparing For The Race Mentally & Physically With Kevin Waimana Viezee

For today’s article, I am going to talk about how I get ready for a race. There are a lot of small little details you need to work on. I believe a lot of people think running is easy. Well, it is at different levels. If you want to be at the top of the world, winning medals and races, then you definitely need to work hard to get there and the road to success is not easy. You really need to sacrifice a lot to get there, so that road isn’t easy. If you want to run for fun and for leisure that’s much easier as you have a different goal and you don’t have so much pressure.

When I started running I always thought running was easy and I would just win races because I was fast and was talented. I did one of my first races in Kenya back in 2012 it was an 800meters race. I went into the race so confident I was going to win, halfway into the race that changed, everyone was 50meters ahead of me. I felt very foolish, thinking I was going to win without training properly. I never gave up, to be honest, & I finished the race last place. That day I learned running isn’t easy and that I needed to train hard to win a race. Since then, every year I have learnt something new but unfortunately, I was always too lazy to train even though I wanted to win. Those two things don’t go well together. I have been running for the last 7 years but have gotten serious since the last 6 years. I never trained properly previously but In the last 1.5 years, I changed my mentality and ways of training.

The Mental Part About Getting Ready For A Race.

It all begins a few days before the race. There is always a lot of things that go through my head. I always ask myself ‘am I really ready for this race?’, ‘how fit am I?’, ‘am I going to win it?’, ‘will I run a fast time or not?’. The night before a race, I always visualise myself in the race. In my head, I see every step of the race and what I want to do. So from the start when the gun goes off to the finish line at all times, in my head when I visualise myself I am always a winner no matter the outcome. Sleeping is the headset part as I am excited and nervous at the same time. In the morning when I wake up, I try as much as possible to keep my head busy so that I don’t think too much about the race. When it’s time to get my things ready and head off to the competition, that’s always the longest part as you have to get yourself mentally prepared. I always have a chat with my coach about our race plan, what I am going to do in the race and we always look who is running in the race and plan our tactics around the guys running in my race. I always love these moments as it keeps me calm & focussed.

The Physical Part About Getting Ready For A Race.

For this part, I basically train throughout the year. It starts with the winter training that I do. The winter training is the most important part as it’s all about loading the mileage and doing strength training to prepare for the summer competition season. When the season gets nearer, we start specialising my training and get my body ready for races. I do less mileage and more intensive short and fast training. These trainings are the best but very tough. When I am going into a race I always have to believe in my training and know that I have done everything that I could. There is nothing else you can change now. All you have to do is to go into the race confidently and believe in yourself.

Sometimes I can be easily intimidated by other runners by just looking at them. Racing is all a mind game from the time you arrive to the time you start and finish the race. When I arrive at the competition everything becomes fun, exciting, scary and a lot of emotions flying around with your head trying to focus. If I have plenty of time before my race, I do try to find somewhere quiet to sit down & listen to music and plan my race the last time. I try as much as possible not to get into my head that much. You basically have to go with the flow of the race. You can have your tactics and everything else planned but that doesn’t mean that it always go the way you want. Of all my races, I think 40% of the time my tactics have gone the way I want them to but most of the time you have to change your tactics in the middle of the race.

Time To Get Ready For My Race.

Warm-up is always the mind game with your body and mind I believe. This is the part you really talk to yourself and your body. In my head, it’s always, ‘Kevin you are ready, you can do it, go out there and have fun and enjoy the race!’ Most of the time it’s positive and somedays it’s negative, it all depends on the day and how your body feels. I am a person that goes with the feeling. If it all feels good in my body and mind then I always know today will be a good day to race. My warm-up is normally 1hour long but my race only takes about 1.47.74 seconds. It is very important to warm up properly. To get you and your body warm and ready. In that one hour, I also talk to my coach, who keeps me busy and we talk and laugh. We normally go through the last checklist to see if everything is well planned and how I feel i.e whether I am ready to rock and roll!

running

‘I was born to run, I might not be where I want to be yet but I am heading there!’ – Kevin Waimana Viezeer

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