One thing that’s really stuck in my mind over my last twelve years of training and racing, one mantra that I always come back to is to “give yourself a chance”. So often, I think that as athletes we are afraid of pushing ourselves a little bit higher and farther than we’re used to going in competition because we’re afraid of failure or afraid of the unknown. However, we have to think about this logically- if we’re mentally holding ourselves back, are we really going to be OK with the results that follow?
I want to encourage you all to dream big over the next few weeks, heading into your peak race or planning out your 2019 race season.
Let me share a personal example. When I first started running marathons and other endurance events, I was so often placing myself at the back of the pack at the start line because I didn’t feel like I belonged up front with the “fast people.” But I was setting myself up for a harder race just by doing this. Without fail, in almost every race I would try to work my way up to the front and weave through the pack, but I would simply run out of real estate before the finish line- I wasn’t giving myself a chance.
Then one day I had the realization that I was basically setting myself up for a mediocre result. From there, I would choose to start near the front and dream big from the start of the race. Sure, I had plenty of races that didn’t go great because of it, but I also started having results that were better than anything I had experienced before.
So as you head into your peak race or start to plan out your 2019 season, I encourage you to dream big and really give yourself a chance to go out and get it.