'Saddle up & get out of town' ~

Life in the Fast Lane

Too many runners in the opinion of this coach play it safe, stay in their comfort zone, literally and figuratively. Today's musing specifically refers to racing in one's home area against the same (or very similar competition) often resulting in stagnant times but placing high in one's age group or in the case of some of the faster runners in the area, placing on the podium or even winning the race.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not suggesting one should never race locally and I also think it is great and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to earn some hardware or race 'schwag'...

My point is this, training for a race in a bigger community on a bigger stage adds extra 'raison d'etre' to your training, actually allows you to run in a slightly lower pressure, less conspicuous setting to really allow you to pursue success and not run in fear of failure because you will be racing in an environment to where not everyone knows you. As such you will be free to focus on achieving to your expectations and not what you think you should be doing predicated on what you perceive everyone else's expectations are of you.

The irony perhaps here is that by running as the 'smaller fish in the big bowl'will improve your racing times as typically you are racing with a larger pool of faster runners and because the pressure is a lower state, you run relaxed and when you run relaxed, you run offensively and when you run offensively, you run with confidence and you run fast...

The Bigger Stage

The more you are exposed to the bigger stage the more comfortable you will become and the better equipped you will be to handle pressure when under the spotlight of a big City race such as half or full marathons in Boston, New York or Chicago ...

The Red Oval

There are opportunities in the USA and in Europe to race on the track both indoors and outdoors. Search out indoor winter and outdoor track meets and drop down in distance from the typical distance races of 5k, 5 mile and 10k....Try your hand at the 400 or 800 or 1500/mile middle distance events. If you start out entering a low key All Comers Meet, again you can race in a low pressure setting from an expectation perspective. However, these middle distance races carry with them accompanying high physical and mental discomfort because of the high % of Vo2 that they are inherently raced at...as such they become the perfect tool to develop your 'skill set' not just of running faster but equally so of focusing on staying in the moment, working on breathing cadence, optimal running form and efficiency, resisting form breakdown and the all important practicing the art of exclusion of all distractions...

There is nowhere to hide on the track whether it be a low key All Comers Meet or a National Championship or Masters Championship race and when you 'Dare to Fail' in this manner working on attacking and defending, developing the sensitivities and nuances of racing, the better performer you will become and faster races will be right there for you to taste...

Back home

If you take my advice and do all that is discussed here today, developing your game, pursuing success and not running or racing in fear of failure, you will return home to your local 5k, 5 mile etc with renewed experience, confidence and speed and then you can explode onto the local running scene and your local peers like an exocet missile...so my advice is 'saddle up & get out of town' !

Walk in peace and let the good times roll !

#Runningracing #training #USA #UK #5k #Marathon #TheRedOval #Coaching #winningrunning #NewYork #London #NewYorkMarathon #fearoffailure #Noexcuses #runtallruneasy #Competition #RunningClubs

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