The Fairfield Half Marathon is Sunday June 28th at Jennings Beach in Fairfield, where more than 3,000 runners will start and finish as they run along the Connecticut shoreline.

The mental aspects of racing are very important. Runners need to develop mental toughness in order to succeed in competition. Each and every runner who has ever stepped on a starting line feels the anxiety and experiences the emotions of competition.

A major part of the psychological preparation for a race is making sure that all the pre-race details have been taken care of. There are several things to consider:

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Know the course. Drive over the course or study a map of it.

Know the check-in time and where to report.

Know the starting time and place. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive without having to rush.

Dress in the proper running gear for the weather conditions.

Know the points on the course, where the water stations are located, and the hills and flats to plan your strategy.

Most athletes find getting "psyched-up" before a race adds to their confidence. Many races are won or lost because of self-confidence. If your training has been going well and you feel fit, it should be easy to convince yourself that you are ready for the task at hand.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a sports podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Dr. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons & has a practice in Darien and resides in Westport.