Friday, 16 July 2010

Why am I not a champion?

Reading blogs and listening to other runners has finally given me some insight into what attributes a runner needs to become a champion competitor.

I have found that to be a champion you need to be obsessive about winning, but probably more importantly, obsessive about your training and everything else to do with your sport in order to win. Champions also seem to have the ability to control this obsessiveness and use it to their up most advantage. It seems you also need to have the desire to win at all costs, the ability to overcome setbacks, learn from it and to come back stronger. I have observed that champions are usually but not always naturally gifted in their chosen sport and mostly single minded and determined. Those who are not 'blessed' with natural talent can still be champions if they have the mental strength, the desire and the commitment to train hard to overcome this. Certainly, natural talent alone is not enough to make you a champion. True champions are not usually content unless they win and anything less than first place in a race can be a disaster for them. They are sometimes very self critical of what they have achieved. I can now understand why some champion runners give up the sport even when they are still very good and so not choosing to compete at veteran level - unless of course they can be assured of an outright win. They are usually very focussed individuals, usually paying particular attention to detail and organisation in their lives, more particularly when it is related to their chosen sport(running). They take their sport seriously, train hard and usually have superior mental strength. They are ferociously competitive and mostly possess an element of 'killer instinct'.

I have to admit I think I have a little bit of all these qualities but probably not enough of any of them to make a champion runner. At least I know that winning a race is not just about clocking up miles.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

A little hiccup at Eccup

I was not sure whether to do this race this year. It was the cooler morning which made my mind up, having got up early and eagerly checked out the Abbey runners website making sure the race wasn't full.

I was just going to turn up and treat it as a long Sunday tempo run, trying to average 5-50 per mile and dip under 60 minutes. This 'joggin' round the race stuff never seems to work for me though. The competitive instinct kicks in and you sometimes can not hold back. Seeing rival runners in the line up and friendly competitiveness from your other club mates can start the fire burning.

Among the front runners that I recognised on Sunday were Andy Pearson from Longwood , Ian Fisher(now unattached) ,Tim Midgely(Bingley) , Kevin Ogden(Spen) and Mark Hall(Otley).

It was great to see Ian Fisher back in action after taking some time off. Without much training and even showing some resemblance of his old form in the windy conditions.

I just managed to finish outside the 60 minute mark with 60-04. This was after trying to power to the finish realising how close it was going to be.

I may do the Pudsey or Harrogate 10k this month and maybe Askern 10 mile in August.

It's a shame about the foot in the photo. It almost looks like I'm leading the race!