Race of One

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Rebel Running

So I read a post from Positively Positive, and it struck me, because it is exactly what I try to impart on runners (and other people in general for that matter).

A race (or life) is about what you make of it and achieving YOUR goals, and your concerns should not be with what other people are doing. A classic example of this is looking back during a race. There are really only three reasons to look back during a race:

  1. You fear loss/failure
  2. You’re over-confident
  3. You’re looking for a friend/teammate

Let me tackle that list backwards… There’s a time and a place for looking around for someone else. Standard rule of thumb, if you’re on a track it’s probably unnecessary, aka sprints and middle distances. I support looking back in a distance race when attempting to motivate others, but in that situation there’s a thin line between motivating others and impeding on your own success.

Coming from a track&field background I’m aware of the need to conserve energy when you have multiple races, especially in a 2/3 day championship event. If you are in a qualifying round and you have already established a significant lead, it’d be the smart move to relax to save some energy for another race/championship event. And the only way to be aware of your lead would be to look back — I get that. But again, there’s a time and a place. Looking back can also serve as a motivating factor to the competitors around you, as the “look back” is one of the cockiest moves you can pull. So that wouldn’t be in your best interest. Looking over your left shoulder while getting passed on your right is pretty embarrassing.

Last, but certainly not least, is looking back because you are concerned with what your competition is doing. Doing this is another motivating factor to your competition. It is another way of showing weakness to others. Operating from this position of fear has you focusing on the wrong goal.

Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who become failure conscious. ~ Napolean Hill

The key to success is focusing on yourself and not those around you.

Throwback: Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror

To the rebel in you,


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