Beware Goal Inflation – How to Blow Your Race

As athletes, we know that setting goals makes it more realistic that we will achieve what we set out to do.  We may have a bucket list goal, or perhaps seasonal goals like completing our first 5K, or triathlon, or even losing the last ten pounds.  What “they” don’t tell us is that often times, when we are on our path to successfully achieving our goals, the green-eyed monster can rear its ugly head and sabotage us at the last moment.

This article is so timely because we see it all around us, or perhaps we hear it from others.  Have you heard this, “I’ve been following my program perfectly and I feel so light and fast, my coach/ plan said to go out easy Zone 1 heart rate for the first thirty minutes of my long run, and then to stay in Zone 2, but I feel so good, I’m going to go for it!”

Every workout has, or should have, a specific reason and associated adaptation.  At this point in the season, as athletes are approaching race day, it’s easy to lose sight of the reason why our workouts tapering into race are often perceived as “easy”. Your body needs to recover and adapt, you won’t get stronger in a taper, but you will be set up for a perfect race day.

There are a lot of folks running half marathon and triathlons right now that are easily two hours or more in length.  If we go out too hard, then we will pay for it on the back side of the race.  For marathoners there is nowhere to hide, and the dreaded walk may set in.  Same for short course triathletes.  Long course triathletes that try to “make up some cushion” on the bike will always give it back on the run.  Did you know that on average, for every .5 mph a competitor in an iron distance triathlon rides over the pace they have trained for, they will add one hour to their marathon time!

If you’re feeling amazing, then stick with your plan, it’s working!  If you have questions about why things feel easy, or why you aren’t allowed to go harder/faster in a workout, then discuss that with your coach.

Plan The Race, and Race The Plan for success in achieving your goals, and tell the green-eyed monster to get lost.

Have a great race!  What events do you have coming up that you’re peaking or tapering for? We’d love to know!  Have a question?  Please drop us a note at:

~Coach Clare

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