Thursday, September 2, 2010

Road Racing - Let the chips fall where they may.

F#ck off with your sofa units and string green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may. - Tyler Durden

Ginny over at Happy Feet 26.2 sent me an article about road racing.

It had a lot of good tips about cycling. She mentioned tip number 5 about the hard stuff not being hard enough and the easy stuff not being easy enough. This is true in swim / bike / run for sure. It is so hard for most of us to slow down for a recovery run. Now the hard stuff. I can knock out running intervals with a group of fast runner like no bodies business. But left on my own it is hard to hold yourself to the line. So I just run my intervals where I have to be accountable.

Tempos are another story. It is so hard for me to go out and run an hour plus at a very hard pace. I almost need a race to push myself – to be able to keep myself at that edge. I have known this about myself for years.

However, the tip that stuck out in my mind was the following:

3. Not Limit Potential

For the first few years, race as hard as you can. When presented with any "yes/no" question--Should I follow this attack? Should I go hard in this time trial? Should I force the pace on this hill? Should I sprint for this prime?--answer YES. If you follow this rule initially, you will craft forward-thinking, aggressive racing habits, and you will learn much more about the limits of your body and your competitors. Don't worry about hiding your cards and being patient, that comes later. If you get shelled because you left it all out on the road, that is fine, you are in the learning phase of your sport. For now, when you see opportunity, pull the trigger!
In a race, I have never blown up - completely. I am afraid of blowing up. I have pushed myself too far and pulled back but never just gone all out – no holds barred – seen the line in the sand and willingly stepped over. I have held myself back in races and pushed an artificial line. Sure, I have had a lot of good results but I have rarely been out in the danger zone – I mean really out in the danger zone. What I have done is called racing smart, but maybe I need to get out and pull like no tomorrow and push the pace – push the pace above and beyond my capacity - just let the chips fall where they may.


misszippy said...

Brave move! I have had my share of blow ups in races, and it's no fun. But I will say that prior to that, I was like you--had not tried to push that outer limit. So give it a go and report back to us.

Luke said...

great post. That tip (3) is the kind of thing I needed to hear right now. I also like the other tip, just becasue it's the whole reason i bought my Garmin, I know I don't push myself fast enough when I am alone.

Emz said...

I'm with Miss Z.

Awesome post.

Matty O said...

To be honest... I have never "pushed myself" in any running race. I always hold back, I always know there is A LOT more in the tank.

I will be thinking of this post come my next race... What would I do if I had to walk the finish because I blew up?! Interesting.

Andrew Opala said...

James baby ... I'm going to run down to MS right now and race the crap out of you!

I love this attitude and I've lived by it since my 18th birthday. And I usually hire these kinds of people for my companies.

Saving stuff for a rainy day is for people that have been called to be safe. Others are called to live a life of danger - anyone who needs to recompile a .so or .lib in the kernal because of a new hard drive has chosen a life of danger!

Mike Russell said...

Great post. I had a friend challenge me to a sprint this morning on our group ride so I went off the front like a bat out of hell. I pushed it as long and hard as I could and a block from the finish line another rider passed me. I got second in the sprint, but I was glad I gave it a go.

Julie said...

Hi James,
This post makes me want to meet up with my running group and run harder than usual. I know that I have been fluffing it a bit for the past few weeks of running on my own:) I need my running peeps to keep me in line and accountable!

Kirk (MyBestTri) said...

That's what I enjoy about riding with the club now. There are always faster riders. So if one of them goes, I try to go. I've blown up many times, but only in training.