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Training for a Marathon (2): How To Get Over Race Jitters

In part two of our five-part running series, national marathoner Serena Teoh shares three pieces of advice to help you overcome those dreaded race jitters


So you signed up for a marathon or half-marathon. It doesn't matter, because you are looking for various ways to improve your running training in preparation of the big day. Over the next month, will bring you useful running tips from two national marathoners in the lead up to race day and beyond.

So if you are into running, stick around and read because who knows? You may just pick up some useful new tips you didn't know before that will give you that little edge to improve your running game.


Whether you are going for a time trial, or a race like the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and regardless of whether you are highly competitive or not, you are bound to feel some nerves when you have set yourself a goal and you have expectations for yourself to do well.

I don't know about you but I always feel those butterflies when I am toeing the start-line of any race, and even hours before the flag off in the lead up to it. I've always wondered if there was anything I could do to make myself more calm ahead of a big running event.


So how do seasoned elite runners like Serena Teoh, who are regularly competing and looking to qualify for major games such as the Southeast Asian Games, deal with nerves ahead of any race? We ask her in this interview on

"I think it is perfectly normal (to feel some nerves ahead of a race), I feel that too and it's just something you get accustomed to," said Teoh.


And does she have any useful tips for our runners who are reading this article? Well, Serena has three pieces of advice:

1) Tune in to your dedicated playlist before the race

Take time to do up a playlist of your favourite songs that will help to motivate you. Different kinds of music will work for different people, so find your beat.

Listen to this playlist before the race to shut off external noise and help yourself to relax.


2) Feel confident of your preparation

Once the gun goes, just try to shut off everything and just run. At that point, all the work has been doing and nothing can be changed.

You just need to calm yourself down and be confident of your prep, especially if it went well. Then do your best and leave nothing in the tank!


3) Go through your Race Strategy

You will have a plan for the race, whether it’s to start slow or keep to a certain pace or heart rate, or know when to have your gels. Run through the race strategy in your mind, especially the parts where you think you are going to hurt and what are you going to do about it.

“There are some things you can control to set yourself up for success, such as these three simple methods I’ve shared,” Serena said. “It’s normal to feel nervous when you know you are going to do well or have the ability to do well. You feel good, yet you also feel scared.


“I just have one more tip – wake up early so you have sufficient time to eat and allow your food to digest, as well as go to the toilet before you head to the race venue!”

Keeping these useful tips in mind, we hope it will benefit you ahead of your next big race or running event. Remember, have faith in your journey and believe in your preparation. We wish you the very best.

#Running #MarathonTraining #SerenaTeoh