Friday, December 15, 2006

It's all in my head

I set a new lifetime PR for the hour this morning: 15,802m. For the online rankings, it has me in the top ~150 or so on the planet. Not too bad.

But as I look at the times for other distances that folks who come in near me for 60 min or 10K manage, I realize I could go faster in many of my events.

A guy whose 10K is faster than mine by a few seconds is trying to break 6:50 for 2K. I know I can go 6:40 right now. So I should be faster for 10K. A teammate whose 60 min distance is 15899 (about 0.5 seconds faster on the split) goes 1.5 seconds faster on the split for 20 minutes. I should have a faster 20 minute time.

I think a lot of what holds me back is psychology. I remember my best times from college, and in my mind, I think I must have been at my fastest then, because there were 3 hours of practice every day all year. But I'm technically better now, and I'm so much smarter about how I perform. I don't train as much, but I've been in the sport for more than a decade now. I've adapted.

Every fall, I tell myself "this will be the year that I break all my records". And I get close to them, but never bust through. I think it's the mental part that holds me back. "I couldn't possibly hold that pace, because that would be very, very fast. " But I can. I don't like to fail. I don't want to push just a little too hard, blow up, and have a bad piece. I like to stay within what I know I can do. I stay within my mental limits.

I think I need to do some work in which I go faster than I think I can, just to see what happens.

My immediate goal is to break my 20 min record some time next week. I need to go sub 1:46.7/ 500m pace. I can do that.