I thought an interesting topic for discussion, and a question that I have been personally pondering, would be what should be the mindset of a multi-event athlete (hept/dec) when competing in the normal meet settings?
This is my second second of track and field competition at the collegiate level, however my first competing in the heptathlon. This question came to mind as I am now in the stage of my season where I am competing in each of the 7 individual events of the heptathlon at my meets to get marks that accumulate a certain number of points, which are them compiled to seed me as far as qualifying for the championship multi meets. I usually am entered in any combination of the 7 events (3-4 per meet generally) depending on the focus of the week leading up to the meet’s practices.
I find myself torn when comparing my performance. I know that in being a heptathlete I don’t have to necessarily be the best (in the conference, in the state, etc) in each event when competing – I only have to achieve a high mark to gain a higher score. This is not the same as a specific event athlete who’s only concern is performing the best out of the field in their event.
For example, when competing the long jump – there are the jumpers, and the multi-jumpers. Even though it is possible for a heptathlete to jump at the caliber of a specific long jumper, it is generally found that the multi-athlete’s jump less, sometimes considerably, than others in the field.
Using this example to help put my question into better perspective – should I really be concerned with the performance of the other athlete’s in the field, especially the specific jumpers; or should I really ‘compete’ with my self and just focus on getting a better mark, rather than beating the other jumpers?
I am aware that in being a heptathlete I am competing against the other heptathlete simultaneously trying to get good scoring marks, but the beauty I see in the heptathlon is that you can really suck at one thing but make it up in another (to put it bluntly).
I just thought this was interesting and wanted to here some other thoughts on it.