Today I wanted to share a reminder about doing the little things an the difference between showing up to meets and taking advantage of them. Meets can be considered glorified practice when the focus is on running fast at the end of the year and not having a false peak. It was great to see many of the Universities from Massachusetts take advantage of Myrtle Beach for both training and competition. Different programs will approach the week or few days of travel differently. Some programs focus on the training and bump athletes up to longer events and compete less. Some programs just focus on competing more and doing just enough to keep fitness levels up. Finally, some programs will do a normal schedule and add some extra work, especially when some athletes will not qualify for finals during competitive invitationals. Each choice has it’s pros and cons.
I am in favor of taking advantage of good conditions whenever possible, and if the opportunity exists, take it. Weather during outdoors is never guaranteed unless you go to San Diego. Running fast is the best workout you can do, and competition bouts will never be reached in practice. Even a bad race sometimes is a monster workout time wise, even if it didn’t feel good.
I have had athletes open up slow or do a personal best performance, but it’s all relative based on goals. Some athletes will perform marvelously and the myth of opening up too fast will be whispered in the crowd. If you are going to be finishing very fast, why not open up fast? You can’t be pedestrian in March and a freak in June as you simply run out of time. In order to be fast you must be fast and get faster.
Some athletes will open up slower than expected and if training is heavy one has to see if the workouts are going well. With great workouts in the beginning of the week, it takes a toll on the weekend and some athletes will not be able to recover to excel in meets. Provided the program is expecting a conversion of slow unloading, this is fine as I have seen some world class performances I never though would come later in the season. Great coaches often work backwards and are not afraid to shoot when they see the whites of their eyes because they know the season is long and it’ shard to hold form with a long racing schedule. Some coaches may run well and then come back for additional work mid season. So long as the system is repeatable, anything will work provided it works over and over again.