Humble apologies for being a day late on this post. Day trips to train in the hills and the subsequent "unwinding" that often comes after is the reason.As we begin this new year with the understanding that we are going to make a real effort to achieve our athletic goal(s), let me offer up some random things to keep in mind:
A quote from Herb Elliott, "the battle within is far tougher than overcoming the competitor."
'Mind or over matter'(your body) is more than just a cliche. There comes a time in certain training sessions or races where you are faced with the decision,do I relent or suck it up and try harder? If you have done the training,you have the capacity to persevere.
Consider the following by Brian Mitchell--"The avoidance of stepping up the pace is the ruin of ambition because it is a case of accepting defeat.I daresay that defeat is accepted by many more athletes than would care to admit it." Whew, that hurts! You can use the word defeat to include not only being anything less than the first one across the finish line, but also letting a runner(s) go by you towards the end of a race. Later you painfully admit to yourself you could have tried harder.It's a crappy feeling that most of us I'm sure have experienced.
Again,being fit,and doing the drills in training at the appropriate time can prepare you to face the challenges of racing.
How profound and true it is when Mitchell says,in so many words, that the acceptance of defeat is the ruin of ambition.Think about it.
I once wrote this about Yiannis Kouros as to why he was so successful as a runner(think about 303km in 24 hours for starters):
1.He was physically prepared.
2.He had supreme confidence in his ability, no doubt gained in part from his training and past race experiences.
3.He prepared and focused on all aspects of the event he was to enter.
Yiannis was quoted as saying---"During the race I try not to think negative thoughts."
When he says negative thoughts it makes me think of things that go through your head in races,things like: "boy,am I ever starting to feel this pace, I can't keep this up, I usually only feel like this at the 3/4's mark, uh-oh"............and on and on.
Ultimately though, the athlete must have in him the desire to excel. Since you have decided that you have the desire, now is the time to prepare.