Why perfect training may not mean you are a perfect racer (plus, what to do about that)
In all my years as a runner, I can remember many runners who:
- Consistently put in the day-by-day training efforts
- Executed high quality workouts with precision and full effort
- And, always put running first and properly considered their recovery and diet
I am sure you know at least one of these "picture perfect" runners who look great day-in and day-out in training.
Most of these runners perform fairly well on race day.
However, you may have noticed that they rarely ever finish as quickly as you would expect them to.
With perfect training, shouldn't they be winning every race or consistently breaking their personal records?
The truth is...
There is more to being a good runner than perfect training.
If you simply enjoy running and don't care too much about your race results, it is fine to always be training and get really good at that.
But what if you want to outperform race day expectations and continually break down new time barriers?
Here are a few racing skills you should master:
- How to expertly race unfamiliar race courses
- How to perform even when the race day weather is not as good as you expected it to be
- How to gauge performance improvements on courses that you know are slow where time-based comparison does not work (or, courses that are simply mis-marked where time-based comparison does not work either)
- How to emulate race day in your training so you are prepared for the conditions you expect to run in when you step up to the start line
- How to enter a race with the right expectations of your performance
These skills are not particularly easy to learn on your own.
You will either need a running coach who has seen it all before...
Or, you will need a lot of trial and error over many years of racing.
However, there is another way.
Instead of burning through a lot of prime race opportunities by blundering your real-time pacing, your race day strategy, and your capabilities in unexpected weather conditions leading up to the race...
You could be racing with Stryd.
Stryd's power value can help you master real-time pacing, even on unfamiliar courses, because the power value factors in conditions such as hills & wind that disrupt your pacing.
Stryd's auto-calculated Critical Power system can inform you of what kind of performance you can expect before the race even starts.
Plus, you can adjust Stryd's power target depending on the heat/humidity you expect on race day as well, so you perform to your capability in any weather condition.
These tools can be a major advantage for any racing-focused runner because you will be armed with information a lot of your competitors do not have access to within their tool set.
If you would like to take a step beyond perfect training and start improving your racing skills, you can get Stryd here: https://store.stryd.com/