A marathon not a sprint?

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Why is it that it seems most people sprint at the beginning of a race?

Think about any race you’ve ever done, triathlon, 10k, marathon, whatever. The beginning is a mad rush to get out fast.

It feels so competitive right at the start.

In open water triathlon, this can involve physicality- kicking, punching, bumping into…by the time you get to the first buoy, you might be frustrated, exhausted, and ready to quit.

But you’ve got 90% of the race left!

There’s something that happens in groups. One person starts sprinting and everyone follows, even though, logically they all know this is the worst time to sprint!

I remember my first half marathon about a decade ago. I hadn’t realized this phenomenon, and got caught up in it.

A half marathon is 13.1 miles. In my training, I was averaging around 8 minutes, 30 seconds per mile on my longer runs.

The race started, and off I went. As I approached the Mile 1 marker, there was someone there reading off the times. As I passed, I heard


It was the fastest mile I’d ever run in my life.

And I had 12.1 more to go!

None of what we’re doing here is a sprint. Not even a sprint distance triathlon! It’s important to keep this in mind. If you have been following Tri Swim Coach for any length of time, you probably know that we do things a little differently.

So like Apple Computer’s tagline goes, “Think Different”. (Or think differently if you want to use proper English!)

Don’t go along with the heard.
Swim/do your own race.
Pace yourself, even when everyone has lost their minds at the start.

And befriend the water. 😉

More soon!