Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Evaluating A Poor Racing Performance
Were you physically ready to race? How was your preparation? Did you follow a training plan all the way through to the racing season or are you one of those people who train and race pretty much all year? If you do,let me give what I believe is a biblical reference,"you reap what you sow." It a crapshoot performance wise when you combine training with a regular racing schedule.
How were your performance expectations? Were they realistic? Were they in line with how your training appeared to be going? How did they(expectations) match up with past performances? Did you really do as bad as you thought you did? Serious runners have a tendency to be hyper-critical of everything relating to how they finished a race(where they placed, the time,how they felt,etc.).
How had your training been going,any prior indication that you might not do as well as you hoped? Think time trials and pace work for starters.
Was this the first race of your season? If it was,the fact that it is your first race is reason enough not to be too hard on yourself, more races will be coming.
Did you rest enough prior to the race? This is perhaps one of the most forgotten reasons for a poor race. I have known so many guys who won't back off on their training before a race. Let me get this right,you've been training for months but think if you go easy the week of the race you will perform poorly? Admit it,your pre-race anxiety is preventing you from getting the rest you need. Speaking of anxiety,did you go out too fast at the start,or as Percy used to say, did you take off "like a frightened hare"? If you've been around for awhile,why are you still doing that?
Did you finish too fast or have too much left? If you did, take note of that and make the necessary adjustments.
At what point in the race do you believe you let down and the opportunity to race well was lost? For instance,some runners know that in the 2nd mile of a 5k they have to really think about keeping on pace or their overall time will not be what it should be. It's important to be aware and thinking throughout your race,no matter how bad you might feel.
Finally---what are you going to do and what are you going to change to get the kind of results you desire?It's important that a runner considers such things if he wants to achieve the success he trains so hard for. Recall Cerutty's words,"the ideal athlete is a thinking athlete." Although I am not a devotee,there is wisdom in the words of Sri Chinmoy when he said, "Think and Become." In our quest for success, we must think about what we have done, as well as what we are doing.