Seeking the Peak: Race Your Own Race

As we aim for our peak performance or being the best at something, many of us get wrapped up in comparing ourselves to others. But, when it comes down to race day or the day we are making an important presentation, we can only manage what is under our control.

This is a lesson I learned competing in Biathlon. Each competitor trains for months and then prepares in his own way on race day. Whether or not we end up in first, second or last really is not up to us. What we can do is go out and set ourselves up to do our personal best.
I clearly remember my strategy during the B.C. Winter Games in Comox, where I won two golds and one silver. It was to “race my own race.” This was still about pushing myself and wanting to be the best, but the focus was more on my own performance. I knew that my training and pre-race preparation were both excellent, as was my confidence in my abilities.
During most of the race I saw a competitor a head of me, but not once did I decide that “I had to catch him.” I could see that I was gradually reeling him in and eventually I passed him. I think that if I had switched my strategy, I would have exhausted myself trying to catch him instead of having my best race.
With Seek the Peak in July and the Grouse Mountain Run in September, I am aware of what my top physical condition was before I retired from Biathlon and what the top times are in my category. On race day, if I am fitter than I was when I competed in Biathlon and I reach my own performance goals of under 2 hours for Seek the Peak and 31:00 minutes for the BMO Grouse Mountain Run, I will have succeeded; placement is secondary.
Through years of various competitions including the Vancouver Marathon, and in my decade as a Kinesiologist, I have always defined my successes by asking, “Did I do everything I could? Was this my best performance?” Please leave a comment and let me know how you run your own race.
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