That feeling at the Spartan finish line is something that can't be topped - especially when you're doing it for the first time or making your debut over a longer distance. However, before the medal hangs around our neck and we feel this mix of pride, excitement and satisfaction, we have to stand at the start line. This is where all sorts of thoughts can pop into our heads: "can I do it?", "are I sure I'm prepared?", "maybe I signed up unwisely". Believe that this goes through the head of many participants in your wave, no matter how good a face he or she is making at the moment.
What to do then
1. The feeling of being unprepared is subjective
This is the moment when all the training we have done pops through our heads and we display the data - how many times we have trained, how intense they were, whether we can overcome all the obstacles. Doubt is sometimes natural. It's worth remembering at this point that it's just a feeling in our head and we could feel the same way even after 3 x more intense preparations.
The most important
2. Don't compare the disposition in training with what awaits you
The reality of running and training is very different. For example, people making their street marathon debut can prepare for it with 25-26km of their longest run (and I know someone who made their marathon debut with a very successful time doing no more than a dozen or so in their daily training). Where did that 150% or even more come from? Trust that the adrenaline and the unique Spartan atmosphere including the cheering of the volunteers will make you push yourself to do much more during the event, so stop beating yourself up about never having run more than... You can do it. You just can.
3. Your goal is to finish!
Leave the racing to the Elite and the Age Group. Your job is to finish. Of course - give it your all and push where you can. But don't be afraid to distribute your strength appropriately and keep marching and running. No matter how much you have left to complete - the finish line will come sooner than you think.
This advice is common to races of the basic trifecta (Sprint, Super, Beast) with no time limit.
For Ultra you need to keep an eye on the cut off times, so let them be your motivator. You are definitely prepared - just keep going!
4. Finishing line is near
Although the word 'visualisation' is conjured up in all sorts of ways by coaches, or business motivators, it is not a completely silly technique. Focus on the feeling you will have at the finish line. Maybe you and your friends already have an appointment for a running pizza? Try to think about what you will order it with and how it will taste. Maybe you're waiting for compliments from your dearest - you'll certainly get them.
See you at the finish line!