One of the most challenging parts of tapering for a race is getting out of your own head. It’s natural if you become a bit of a headcase during the taper. However, if you entertain too much self-doubt or let your mind tumble down a dark hole that leads to having an unusual amount of pre-race anxiety, you must take control of your thought process–otherwise, you’ll risk ruining your race experience!
So how do you get out of your own head when the taper crazies are keeping you up all night?
Related: How to Avoid the Taper Tantrums
The answer is simply that you work on training your brain and changing the way you think. Anxiety usually comes from a place of fear of the unknown or a fear of the “what ifs.” These include thoughts like, “What if I worked this hard and fail miserably?” “What if my stomach is upset the entire race?” “What if I bonk at mile 20?”
These negative mind games take us out of the present and cause us to project negativity into the future. But staying present is not always easy when a big race is on your mind.
One simple way to take your mind off of race day is to watch inspiring movies. A movie can help take you out of your own head for an hour or two, and the right films can even help you reframe your thoughts so that you have a more positive mindset.
Here are the 10 most inspirational movies to watch during the pre-race taper:
1. Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
If you aren’t running a race that’s as challenging as the Barkley Marathon, you’ll be inspired by the crazy stuff these runners go through–even though they aren’t likely to succeed on race day.
2. Spirit Of The Marathon
If you’re running the Chicago Marathon or just your first marathon, this is the movie to watch! The documentary-style film follows runners of different levels as they prepare to run and conquer Chicago.
3. Run For Your Life
If you’re running the TCS New York City Marathon, this is for you! The movie shows the history behind this historic race and will inspire you to get excited about running on the first Sunday in November.
This movie is about a true running legend. I’ve never met a runner who wasn’t inspired by Pre’s story.
Take your mind off the sport of running by watching this classic, inspiring movie about perseverance while working toward a long-term goal.
You know this movie and you’ve probably already watched it 100 times or more. Do yourself a favor and watch it again!
7. Amongst the Evergreens | The Cascade Crest 100–My First 100 Miler
8. Wonder Woman
If you missed seeing this while it was in theaters, you’re in luck! It’s now available to watch in the comfort of your own home.
For all the Disney fans out there, this is the one to watch during race week. Moana works hard for something she believes in and does the impossible.
10. Chariots Of Fire
This classic film depicts the story of two runners competing in the 1942 Olympics.
Bonus—Boston: The Documentary
Be sure to see this movie if it’s playing in your area.
What movies would you add to this list?
*This post original appeared on Women’s Running where I blog regularly.