Mind over Body?
Have you ever read one of those stories, about how someone finds super human strength in a life or death situation? Suddenly a parent can lift the back of a car, because their child is trapped underneath - when they would never be able to lift that weight in the gym...
All these stories link in to the fact that our brains have big parts that are quite "old"; in that they've not adapted to our lives and societies now; they are the same as they were 1000s of years ago. And 1000s of years ago we wanted to err on the side of caution, play it safe, eat loads when loads of food was available incase it isn't later, save energy now incase we need it later.
It's useful to know this as these big parts of our brains impact how we behave today. A great example is being able to summon a sprint finish when you can see the finish line of a race, despite feeling really low on energy only a mile earlier. You've not paced badly, it that your brain only really know you are near the end when it sees it and it will then allow you to access all the reserves it's been holding back.
A big part of running training is not only the physical fitness improvements but training the brain that you can do more each week and that it's "OK"; your comfort zone expands.
So what does this mean for our running? It means our bodies can, more often than not, do more than you think. The brain will usually hold things back and start trying to persuade us to stop way before the body will. It means that good mindset techniques can be really helpful; especially on race day!
So, what can you do? I'd recommend a few of the tips and links below!
If you want to find out more this website has lots of helpful free resources and worksheets to help with sports performance;
For the week before and during a race; https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/motivation/a41383828/positive-mindset-running-race/