“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” Quote by Steve Prefontaine
Have you ever wondered what the hardest, or most physically taxing thing you could do with the gifts you were given? I have often wondered if I have done my best as far as speed, distance, or difficulty of events that my own gifts would allow me to do. I have set goals and sometimes I have accomplished them and sometimes I haven’t. Usually, if the goal is to complete something with a high degree of difficulty, I have done it. Where I have fallen short of accomplishing certain goals, is when it comes to speed. I have had some really good races results, but my set goals tend to exceed my performance.
The last couple of weeks, I have been seriously thinking about something much longer, and more difficult than anything I have currently done. The problem is, it is not even close to being the longest or most difficult event that I know is out there. There is always something more to strive for. With the 2016 season coming to a close, it is almost time to set goals for 2017. If you set goals for the upcoming year, when do you do it? How do you set your goals when it comes up to cycling, swimming, running and/or multi-sport events?
“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” Quote by Steve Prefontaine
In 30 years of racing I have been beat many times, and most of the time it was probably by someone that had trained harder than I had. Many times when I ask someone how their race went, they reply with their time only. I then proceed to ask again, clarifying what I was really asking. What I really want to know is: Did the race results match the training you put in? I put a lot of stock in the actual finish time, but I do also remember to consider other factors, such as the weather the day of the event verses other days, winds speeds, if the course changed, etc. I also want to know about their predicted time, such as the time they would be happy with, the time they would be just good with, and the time they would be ecstatic with. When you ask someone their race results are you looking for their time or the whole story?
“What I want is to be number one.” Quote by Steve Prefontaine
I am sure not too many people ever set out, whether it be in work, school, training and racing, to get second, third, or last. Now, I know a lot of good and fun people that go to triathlons, bike rides, runs or another endurance event just to finish. This is great for them and great for the sport, but even if their goal is only to finish, they’re probably not thinking to themselves, “I hope I finish last!”. The way I see it is, is that they set out to accomplish their goal and when they cross the finish line they do win-even if they finish last.
“The only good race pace is suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die.” Quote by Steve Prefontaine
For a 5km or shorter, I believe this is a great idea if you have the legs and lungs for it. There have been a lot of times when I went out for a 5km or shorter race and went out hard and at the end I thought for sure I was going to die. Many times my friends think I do triathlons this way, and I will admit that I get a good feeling when I really push the pace on the bike a little harder than I should have. If I were to be completely honest, there has been a time or two that I have screwed my entire race because I went too hard on the bike and could have had a stronger run time if I would have slowed down on the bike. I can’t help it. I enjoy pushing too hard on the bike, especially when I am looking at setting a personal best. What is your race plan? What is your opinion on pacing?