Everywhere Edge

Ask the Expert: Overcoming pre-race nerves

November 21, 2007

Q: Help!! I can train for any event all year but for some reason, the night before a race, I have the worst case of insomnia and all my training goes down the tubes when I try to do a race without any sleep. What can I do so that I can be at my best at a race - well rested. Cara Z.

Bob: Here's some great news! It doesn't matter how much you sleep the night before the race. Research indicates that the more important sleep is in the nights before that, particularly the night before the night before your race. I can tell you from first hand experience as well that not sleeping the night before your event is normal and will have no effect on your performance. Many of my best times were in events for which my prior night's sleep was horrific. Conversely, I've done poorly sometimes after a great night's sleep. What is likely affecting your performance is that you are so hyped up about not having slept that you are convincing yourself that you won't do well. Relax, run easy and enjoy!