> Over the years I've been asked to run in races I had no intention of
> running. Often in the middle of training for some other race of a
> different distance.
Am I right in assuming that your training during the preceeding
months hasnt on these occasions been quite as bereft of
anything resembling speed work or tempo runs?:-)
> Go do your race. I'll bet you end up running no more than a minute off
> your usual time. You may even set a pr. It needs to be said, we aren't
> olympians with world records depending on every calorie we take in and
> expend. We are weekend jocks and there isn't alot we can do that will
> dramatically affect our races.
As much as I agree on principle, in sentiment and so on, I beg
to differ. Not all weekend jocks are alike, their training and race
experience can vary a lot - and certainly at the bottom end there
is at least something that can be done to run at ones current
Physiologically the margin between going out prepared and
unprepared is undoubtedly quite small - in the short term, in
any longer term we are probably better off than those world
class athletes:-) - but mentally there is much more scope for
doing better or worse, and running - at this level as well, if
not more so - is very much a mental thing.
But backfrom the general to the specific good old me: I know
I am not going to be within a minute of my PR (from last year),
the goal is to be as far as I can from being 3 minutes slower!
To illustrate: I havent run faster than 4:35/km even in my
dreams sinceI cannot remember when (OTOH that was the
avg pace of a 26km run). Therefore I went out last night to
do 4 "fast" 1kms (after 3km warm-up and jogging in the
intervals) with a goal of running the last two slightly faster
than 10K race pace.
The result: 4:06, 4:03, 3:57, 3:56 - and I did give it what I
felt was my best! I simply couldnt get my chest to pound
and my lungs to burn, and my limbs werent weak, either,
but my body simply resisted the speed and my mind wasnt
willing to push it beyond that.
You can calculate my projected race time from that, and it
is not impossible that I will not do any better with the benefit
gained by the above experience than if I had had that shock
first in the beginning of the race, but I like to think otherwise:-)
And, last but not least, I think even this preparation will make
all the difference in my (psychological) experience of the race
- and thats what many weekend jocks race for (as well as
the result measured in time)!
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