There have been a couple of really good articles this week about risk taking and racing.
This article on Running Times here Winner Runs Through It is pretty interesting, it really provided me with some perspective to my racing. This blog post by Wyatt is along the same lines Taking Risks.
So what does it mean for me, and what does it mean for my upcoming race? Well my races have generally fallen into 2 baskets, success or failure. As I move forward with more races under my belt it is pretty clear that I let my watch (as in overall time) tell me if I have been successful or not.
Take my race at Toowoomba, if I had run more conservative and used my speed on the down hills and conserved on the uphills, I would most likely of had a much more enjoyable day (and likely a faster overall time). But I took a risk early and was sitting in the top 10, running hard, only to blow myself up.
So what is a better way to race? Balls to the Wall? Just go for it? Smash your PB but risk blowing up? Or take it easier, never knowing if you could of went faster as you don't leave enough distance to really "go for it"?
I have had 1 race where this worked, it was the Rocky River Run in 2010 - I just went berserk and ran out of my skin, one of those days where it was just easy to run hard. The problem with a race like that, is that it reinforces that type of approach to racing. Which has been my issue since.
If you remember in my pre-GC race post "Running Naked" - I had to run by feel, so I wasn't able to be so fixated by my pace as apposed to effort and listening to my body.
Maybe some people are better at running conservative and finishing strong, whilst others relish going hard and hanging on. At the end of the day, your Personal Best is a TIME and doesn't have an * beside it saying "blew up" or "had plenty in the tank". How you get to the finish line is just that, your personal best.
What we do know from a science perspective is that it pays to conserve at the start and your goal (particularly for the marathon) is to evenly split the two halves of the race. For shorter races particularly the 10k and 5k it never feels very comfortable, as you are near your limit the whole time.
The Running Times article posses an interesting idea, the idea of purposely DNFing a marathon - that is, racing at your absolute limit for as long as possible. I just call this "hitting the wall" :) But seriously it is an interesting idea, as in theory if you have left it all out on the course, you would take 1 step after the marathon and collapse.
On Sunday I am going to give the 15km a different approach to normal, I am going to start conservative and will run harder/faster towards the end. As I know there are about 3 people in the world who read this blog, it is really just a chance to make ME more accountable for my running, and stick to my word.
I will be back next week with a race review.....and KM by KM race splits, so you can see that I ran the first km at 4.50 pace!
PS - Thank-you for the Movember support, our CQUniversity Team raised nearly $15 000!!!