This is a great thread. Being 33 my memory is going bad so I have to think back to my prime years 🙂 When I was a freshman and sophomore in college I used to think I had to be so amped up to run fast that it almost became fake. As a young college sprinter I felt like I had to prove something to everyone else; that I was the most intimidating, etc. In some cases it may have been out of fear of the losing or low self confidence.
One I got to my Jr. and Sr. years I began to gain a lot of confidence in myself and performed well. I also would pack my bag a week in advance of every meet, set my music to random so I didn’t know what song was coming next, and every night I would stretch before bed with head phones on a lights off and just think about the race. That was only time I really got myself amped up during those two years. I also had names of guys I wanted to beat and after I did I would check them off. My own personal hit list. I began to think there was no way I’d lose at our conference meet and at our national meet I thought there was no way there were 8 guys faster than I, nor was there any way I wouldn’t finish in the top 3. It proved to be true.
I ran some of my best races in a more subdued manner. I was very focused, but not just out of my skin. A few tell tale signs to me and maybe it’s just coincidence, but when I ran I had a couple of things happen.
1. I would get chills and goosebumps warming up. After I was really warm.
2. I would yawn multiple times throughout the warm up and leading up to getting in the blocks.
These things all happened until this past summer. I’m not running anymore, period. An injury forced me to hang them up for good.
I also think that our team goals became much more important that my individual goals. Our team won 4 national titles and I look back at those more often than I do my individual accomplishments.
I guess for me I ran my best in relaxed state. A middle ground between amped and relaxed. I like reading about what makes everyone tick.