Twenty factors that determine racing success are: 1. The date of the race. 2. The challenge the race represents. 3. Age 4. Talent 5.Health 6. Nutrition 7.Hormones 8.Body build 9. Running technique 10.Aerobic capacity 11. Weight 12.Body fat 13.Training methods 14. Coaching 15. Tactics 16. Self-discipline 17.Track conditions 18.State of the weather 19.The opposition 20.The balance between aerobic and anaerobic exercise.The above is taken from the book,Running to the Top written by Arthur Lydiard. Although he writes that the factors are in no particular order of importance he does say that, #1,The date of the race, is of utmost importance. As you have read here before,Lydiard has always maintained that until you know how to be in peak condition on race day,you know nothing about training. How true that is. Those who have watched the Olympics over the years may have seen where the big favorite for a partcular distance race performs well below expectations only to set a W.R. in the same event a month later. The reason? Most likely this is because he peaked after the big race.