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Pre-Race Doubts (Read 1181 times)

    So, you put in months of training, hit all the workouts and now that it's time to race -- you start to wonder if you really have it in you to hit your goal.

     

    How the heck do you wrap you head around it to get rid of the self-doubt and get your mind right?  You got your mind right Luke?

     

    Discuss...

    And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

     

    Rob

    jimmyb


      Realize that your thoughts aren't reality. Be in the now. Experience the race when it comes. Go eat something delicious.

      Log

        I have never really struggled with the pre-race doubts.  The race doesn't make you the runner that you are, the training does.  When you are at the start line it is going to be what it is no matter what you think of it.  It is like opening a book and looking what is inside.  The reading (the race) doesn't change what is written there, it is all the training that writes the words. 

         

        You have to do the training.  You have to be willing for it to hurt.....a lot if you are really racing to the edge of your ability.  You have to be able to be ok to go down in flames if you overestimate how well your training went.  If you do those three things there is really noting to think about.

         

        Either you will hit your goal or you won't.......but at the end of the day that outcome was decided in the weeks of training, not on race day.  And, if you miss the goal by seconds or completely crash and burn?  So what?  Train harder and smarter next time there is always another race.

        Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

          Realize that your thoughts aren't reality. Be in the now. Experience the race when it comes. Go eat something delicious.

           

          I like you, Betty.

           

          It's Danny, sir.

           

          Danny, I'm going to give you some advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.

          Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
          We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

            I actually think it's really normal to have doubts. You SHOULD have doubts, especially if you are racing at the limit. I guess I find that I have a lot of doubts before the race, even up to standing on the line, but somehow when the gun goes off they seem to go away. Maybe it's just because I don't have the bandwidth to entertain the doubts while racing. 

             

            I guess that's not a "how to" answer, other than maybe how to wrap your head around them is just to let them come and realize they don't mean anything until you are actually racing.

             

            That said, there is a decision point in almost every race--whether to make a move or not, whether to run harder or stay steady, whether to risk blowing up or run conservative. I think when these moments come, sometimes doubt is your friend. The option to be aggressive is not always the right one to take. But when you are well trained, it's important not to let these decision points pass unnoticed--they could be your chance for a breakthrough. 


            A Saucy Wench

              "What's the worst that can happen.  You can go out on pace, blow the fuck up and the last (few) mile(s) will suck.  You'll live.  Better than than lying in bed at 3 in the freaking morning for the next month or two knowing you COULD have done it if you hadnt been such a pansy ass. "

              I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

               

              "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                I actually think it's really normal to have doubts. You SHOULD have doubts, especially if you are racing at the limit. I guess I find that I have a lot of doubts before the race, even up to standing on the line, but somehow when the gun goes off they seem to go away. Maybe it's just because I don't have the bandwidth to entertain the doubts while racing. 

                I'm not a runner of Jeff's caliber, but +1.

                 

                 

                That said, there is a decision point in almost every race--whether to make a move or not, whether to run harder or stay steady, whether to risk blowing up or run conservative. I think when these moments come, sometimes doubt is your friend. The option to be aggressive is not always the right one to take. But when you are well trained, it's important not to let these decision points pass unnoticed--they could be your chance for a breakthrough. 

                To me, the pre-race doubt was perhaps more about the unknown of how I'd respond at those decision points.  Would I decide I couldn't hold the strong pace when maybe I really could've, thus squandering an opportunity and all that training?  Would I try to race beyond my fitness and pay a hefty price?  I'm not sure whether it's borne of fear that I'd decide wrong or that I'd wimp out.  The best I can say is that racing is supposed to be pretty uncomfortable.  I try to segment the race and have a goal for both the early part of the race and especially the often-overlooked middle portion (everyone can finish strong).  Of course, then you can have doubts about the wisdom of your in-race goals ...

                “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                  "What's the worst that can happen.  You can go out on pace, blow the fuck up and the last (few) mile(s) will suck.  You'll live.  Better than than lying in bed at 3 in the freaking morning for the next month or two knowing you COULD have done it if you hadnt been such a pansy ass. "

                   

                  +1

                   

                  Go big or go home.  Train for your race, go out on pace.  If you have it you have it, if you blow up you blow up, and if you still feel great towards the end, pick it up.   But if you wuss out at the beginning and go out at a slower pace and feel fresh at the end you'll kick yourself.

                   

                  I've done both.  Went out on pace for my marathon in 2010 and blew it around mile 20.  Went out on pace during a 10 miler last year, and ended up being able to pick up the pace for the last 3 miles.

                   

                  "From failure we learn.  From success... not so much." ~ Meet the Robinsons


                  Feeling the growl again

                    There is no shame in trying something you reasonably prepared for and failing.  It happens.  It's pretty shameful to put in all the work and then chicken out on the line, however.

                     

                    Many moons ago I pushed myself to the limit trying to train for a 2:21 marathon.  It was overly aggressive and I started to over-train 2 months out.  After backing off for many weeks I was clueless as to whether I retained the fitness to make a serious attempt at that.  My coach said I had two options:  1) Go for it and have a 90% chance of blowing up, or 2) Playing it safe, pacing for 2:26, and having a 90% chance of hitting that, but always wonder what might have been.  I took option 1 and blew up.  It would be nice to have that 2:26 as a PR but I KNOW the doubt that followed over what might have been would have eaten me up.

                     

                    As for how to get your head in the right place....you will never acheive something you don't think you can do.  No matter how nervous you are on the line, you have to trust your training.  If you did the training, you'd better believe in it...otherwise what purpose did it serve?  Nobody can put success in your head but you.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      Breathe in, breathe out.  Release the external goal.  Run.

                      Runners run.

                        Seriously, if you're not a pro, the world will be the same at the end of the race.  You may have learned something.  You go on from there.

                        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


                        MoBramExam

                          "I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards."
                          -Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the NYC marathon

                           



                            Seriously, if you're not a pro, the world will be the same at the end of the race. 

                             

                            So, why race at all?

                              So, you put in months of training, hit all the workouts and now that it's time to race -- you start to wonder if you really have it in you to hit your goal.

                               

                              How the heck do you wrap you head around it to get rid of the self-doubt and get your mind right?  You got your mind right Luke?

                               

                              Discuss...

                               

                               

                              I dont --- at the ripe old age of 59, I've run a few hundred races over the many years and I stiff havent figured this out........

                               

                              Just go run the race and do your best....

                              Champions are made when no one is watching

                                Thanks for the insight.

                                 

                                On Sunday morning you will either hear a large boom or a large scream of joy.

                                 

                                As they said in Risky Business -- WTF -- if you can't say it, you can't do it.

                                 

                                Just going to shut up and run.

                                And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

                                 

                                Rob

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