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Siri Lindley: Visualize The Good, And Bad, Pre-Race

Siri Lindley make a mistake in 2000 that cost her a spot on the Olympic team.

I have made many mistakes throughout my career in running and triathlon. The biggest one had to do more with my pre-race preparation rather than the race itself.

Before the 2000 Olympic Triathlon Trials, I had visualized the “perfect race” every single night before bed. That involved doing everything right and basically executing the perfect race.

Once race day arrived, the gun went off but within 2 minutes I got dunked under the water and lost the front pack.

I was so flustered and unprepared for something to go wrong that I had no idea how to handle the situation. My body froze and I choked. I was trying as hard as I could but basically I was going backwards.

The biggest lesson I took away from this situation was that yes, visualization is good, but you MUST not only visualize doing things right, but also visualize problems occurring and seeing yourself handling them with calm, collected and positive actions and thoughts.

Be prepared for anything in a race—visualize handling every situation, good or bad, in the most effective way.

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.