Mental Skills to Tackle 4.2 from Banner Health Sports Medicine

Blog, Banner Health | 03/11/2024

You work hard to train your body physically for a race, but what about mentally preparing? Practicing mental skills can help improve your performance! Check out these tips from Dr. Sierra Dimberg from the Banner Health Sports Medical Team on how you can prepare mentally for Pat’s Run:


Increase focus and concentration during the race by bringing awareness to your breath, but practice diaphragmatic breathing beforehand. Visualize the race ahead of time going well. My favorite 5 senses grounding exercise if feeling overwhelmed- what is one thing you can see, hear, taste, feel, and smell.

Redirect your thoughts:

Before race jitters or during race struggles- picture each unwanted thought as a runner in the race, placing the words on their bib and you run by them. Re-shift your focus to your race.

Goal Setting:

Utilize SMART goals. Is your goal to hit a PR or just finish, or how to have fun? Set up small steps you can take to achieve your goal. (Be sure to check out the Couch to 4.2-mile training program by Dr. Amy Jo Overlin!)

Motivation & Confidence:

Set yourself up for success! Make sure you’re taking care of your basic needs (nourishment, hydration, & sleep). Who in your life can provide support to cheer you on? Can you sign up with a friend or train with someone? What is a way you can reward yourself for the preparation and after success? Why do you value running or supporting the Pat Tillman Foundation? Remember your why!

Not all mental skill or education applies to all; if you are experiencing any mental health symptoms, please seek professional help. Call or text 988 if you ever do not feel safe.

Not registered yet? Secure your spot for the 20th Annual Pat’s Run, presented by TEKsystems, today!