Don’t Be Hasty

“Patience is a virtue” and “Haste makes waste” are two of my favorite sayings and, I can tell you, I am still trying to learn how to follow the core message of each.  For this I use another saying, “Easier said than done.”  I am writing this article for my own good.  Hopefully it helps you, but I need to put it on paper and hold myself to it.

I ran the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon a few weeks ago.  My strategy was to go out conservative and close hard.  What did I do?  I hammered from the gun and suffered in the end.  Granted there was a strong headwind the last three miles, but I had no gas to push through.  The same goes for my last Ironman appearance.  Ironman Wisconsin last season was a debacle.  I crashed and burned.  I went out hard on the bike, mashed up every hill, and ended up walking on the run.

I will be the first to tell you I need to mature as an athlete and I must learn to  have confidence in my speed and my fitness.  The term “negative split” is not thrown around so much because it doesn’t work.  The negative split is the ideal way to race.  You want to ease into it and close hard.  It is a lot easier to finish strong than it is to suffer through the last section of the race.

How would I have raced these two races differently?  At the Chicago R and R, I would have stuck with the lead group from the start.  I would not have pushed as hard as I did, and I would not have run off of the front at the start.  I went through my first two-mile sub-10 minutes.  This was way too fast.  I know this is not a pace I can hold for 13.1 miles.  I have to be more realistic with myself.  I should have started around a 5:20/mile pace and in the end, if I could run sub 5 min/mi, do it then when everyone else was suffering.  I would not only have run faster, but I would have felt a lot better.

At IM Wisconsin, it was all about patience.  I know my swim stinks and my run is solid.  I didn’t race my race.  I got out of the water close to last and I thought I could make up time on the bike.  I was wrong.  IM Wisconsin is a two loop course.  I was lucky to have finished the first loop let alone the race.  112 miles is a long way to race a bike.  I had my wattage right in front of me, but I may as well not have.  It was all over the map.  On the up hills I was above 350 watts, on flats I was at 275 watts, and that is just for the first loop.  The second loop drastically dropped off.  If I had been patient, I would have kept my wattage consistent the entire way.  I would have kept it low and within the same range no matter the terrain.  For example, if my goal wattage was 260 watts, I should have held 260 watts on climbs, descents, flats, etc.

I like to use T.J. Tollakson as an example when trying to make this point to my coaching clients.  T.J. won IM Lake Placid this year and had his fastest Ironman run yet.  This was not just by chance.  I looked at T.J.’s power file from the race and it looked similar to a flat line across the course of 112 miles.  T.J. stayed within himself and consistent.  This allowed him to come off the bike feeling fresh and close out the race hard.  T.J. is one of the strongest cyclists in triathlon, yet for IMLP he held his wattage around 260w.  He was patient and conservative and this led to an incredible run which led to an overall victory.

I personally find myself too caught up in the “racing” atmosphere.  I want to start hard because I am racing, but I must remember that this is not a 100 meter sprint.  Our races could last anywhere from 4-14 hours.  That is a long day, and strategy is what separates the winners from everyone else.  You could go out hard and have the lead for a bit, but “What matters is not how you start, but how you finish” and how you finish successfully takes patience.  RACE HARD!

For coaching inquiries contact me at jim@jimlubinski.com or go to www.Lubesmultisport.com

To be added to my weekly news letter distribution list, e-mail me at jim@jimlubinski.com

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. WOW I wrote about paitence in my blog before reading yours, two great minds think alike!

    I’m back water running… btw… I’ll fill you in more about what physio said in meso, but not allowed to bike, so not happy about that, but what can you do… argghhhh… PATIENCE right hehe…

    Hope your training is going well… Auds 🙂


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