Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thoughts On Competition By Percy Cerutty
Percy offers some unusual yet helpful insights into competition. He had the following to say in regards to racing and the racing season: "The athlete should be aroused simply by the idea of competition,this should be enough to make him emotionally ready,and draw on what has been developed through practice. This arousal can be hampered by worry about the race or the competition,lack of interest or staleness. These are the enemies of good racing. An athlete can put in months of grueling,exacting workouts and then be defeated by them in a race situation. Elliott was immune to them, but most runners have a harder time of it. When the serious racing season is underway,races take priority. Training should be limited as much as possible,usually to no more than a little sharpening work on grass. The runner has to save his best efforts for the race. Many waste them in time trials and workouts. If the runner has trained properly and is 'mentally tough,' the race should be run as fast as possible. Since the runners physical condition doesn't change very significantly in the space of a week or two, if the runner is doing his best, his racing times should not fluctuate much from race to race. They should be progressively faster." I think of two things when I read the above,first is his saying, "The runner has to save his best efforts for the race. Many waste them in time trials and workouts." As some say,many runners leave their race on the practice field by continuing to hammer in workouts during racing season. As I wrote previously,the reason runners do this is either because of ignorance as to proper training or anxiety as it relates to the upcoming race(s). Secondly,if you have planned your training correctly, you should become progressively faster during racing season. As a running sage once told me,you use your head as well as your legs in training.