Strength & Speed


"If you want something you never had, you have to be willing to do something you have never done."

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The Athlete's Mind: You Are Only as Good as Your Last Race

Posted by Strength & Speed on May 1, 2021 at 4:45 PM

Your last race didn’t quite go as planned and you fell short of your goal. Whether it was a DNF (Did Not Finish) or just falling short of your desired placement, you’re just not happy with how things went. With a rise in social media and races occurring almost every weekend, it sometimes feels like “you’re only as good as your last race.” Is there truth to this statement or is it complete garbage perpetuated by the athlete that’s on the top of the finisher’s list from this past weekend’s race? Let’s explore the concept a little further.


 

All wins, one bad: To analyze the statement let’s examine the extreme ends of the spectrum first and figure out if they are helpful or not. If you’ve been crushing your goals (whether that’s podium, AG podium, keeping your band or simply making it across the finish line) and you have one bad race, obviously the “good as your last race” statement isn’t true. You can probably chalk the last race up to one bad day. It happens to everyone and you can’t control who shows up on race day but you can control how you perform.


 

Long streak of bad: What if you were crushing your goals two years ago and seem to fall short of your goals at every race for the last two years. Well then, maybe you’re doing something wrong. Perhaps you need to train more consistently, adjust your training to avoid injury or taper more for your event. In this example, there is some truth to the statement. Perhaps you were never that good and are overestimating your ability.

 

Overall, the statement “you’re only as good as you’re last race” holds little water. However, there is a happy medium. If you’ve bombed the last 10 races, maybe it is time to re-evaluate your training, goals and preparation. You’re not only as good as your last race but your last race is a “brick” in the “house” of your athletic performance.


At the end of the day, consistency and time matter in performance as an athlete. The goal of this article is to take an honest look at yourself. If we don’t look at ourselves honestly, we can’t identify weaknesses or problems and then adjust or training to fix them. So you aren’t “only as good as your last race” but your last race is part of who you are as an athlete. Be honest with yourself, evaluate, adjust and overcome.

 

Categories: OCR, Speed