It never gets easier… You just get faster

I can’t recall who gave us that quote, else I would naturally credit the original source! The original quote was said in relation to cycling, but of course it is equally applicable to triathlon. Whilst sheltering from the rain last night at my WTri I accidentally fell into a conversation and was reminded of the quote…

It’s a conversation that many of you will be familiar with. It’s the one that goes “I’m JUST doing a xyz” said in a dismissive way of the magnitude of the race in question, because it isn’t the longest race possible.

Now some irritating bastards say this to belittle the audience (in the sense of its ALL you are capable of finishing). Others say it because they don’t want to appear that this is ALL they are capable of. Most I think say it from a sense of modesty because they feel that type audience will consider this a trifling distance / event. Actually there should be no occasions where an endeavour is presented in such a manner in my not so humble opinion. These days I try VERY hard to NEVER say it!

The discussion evolved into a friend pointing out that her mission for any race of any distance was to “just finish”. I argued against this at the time. My contention being that if you know you can just about finish a half marathon then JUST finishing a 10k is hardly a good goal…

But actually, on reflection, I was completely wrong!

It now strikes me that you should always just about be able to finish the race. Because if you are pacing for your best time, you will be racing as hard as you possibly can so that when you cross the line you are completely fucked and only just able to breath. You will have given it your all, but you will have made it to the line.

Crossing the line with loads more to give is pretty pointless. You didn’t race hard enough. Going so hard you blow up and pull out before the end is even worse. But surely all this comes from the dark skill of truly knowing your race pace? And having confidence in using it…

And what I really learned from the conversation was that it’s actually my biggest failing! Which is probably also one of my most performance limiting factors. I cross too many lines with more left to give…

So in fact my friend was right… You should always aim to JUST ABOUT finish… But the pace at which you will conduct yourself in the process is what will vary significantly.

To most this might be blindingly obvious. To me wasn’t. It is now. I have much work to do!


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