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« Osaka and New York marathons offer some interesting parallels | Main | The three most impressive performances of the weekend »

January 30, 2009



So is your message not to be conservative? Put everything on the line? Well today in a 5k, instead of hanging back in the first part I tried to run away with it. On the way back once I reached the hills I was pretty much dead and got pass by 2 guys. I have been mad at myself ever since for going out too fast.

So what's my mistake here? Its pretty easy to confuse bravery with stupidity. I fear my case is of the latter.


Hi Dom,

Sorry to hear about your race. Believe me, I know how it feels to get passed at the end of a race after going out too hard.

My message is not simply to be conservative. It's to realize that what you want to do and what you're mentally or emotionally ready to do aren't always the same thing. If you have a fear of failure, you'll often settle for good enough and not go for great at the risk of very bad. But if you are naturally too aggressive, you might have the opposite problem. You might tell yourself you'll run conservatively only to find yourself leading the race anyway.

We all have personality traits, inner fears, and emotional triggers that affect how we make choices. I don't know what your mistake was. It might not have even had anything to do with an unspoken goal. What was your plan when you started the race? Did you execute to that plan, or did you find yourself running faster than you expected?


Hi Bryan,

Thanks for clarifying, its a good piece of advice! Before the race I was planning to hold back till the turn back and start kicking. Instead I let the adrenaline rush get to my head and tried putting a gap between myself and the other more experienced and better runners. On the way back before I knew it, i just went dead, finishing the second half 25 secs slower than my first. A total screw up.


I've run so many races that went down just like yours. Maybe I just didn't have good instincts, but I certainly think that there is often a conflict between what you decide to do (the formal strategy you devise) and what you feel you need to do in your heart.

I'm sure neither is always right, but if you don't get them in alignment, it will almost always affect your final performance negatively.

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