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Beating people

Answered By Michael Bergmann

Question

Hi. I'm a seventh grade boy and we just had our third track meet today. In the previous track meets I have finished quite well, however, today I placed my worst ever, third in 1200m (our longest event) and fourth in 800m. We raced a school we had never raced before. I broke my record in the 1200m by six seconds, running a 4:12, and I ran a 2:40 in the 800m close to my record of 2:38 but didn't place all that well. We have our districts track meet this coming Tuesday and I have three people who I am a bit nervous about. Since all of the schools will be there, I will have to race all three of them. In the races I have run against them one has run a 2:03, the other 2:08 and the last barely beat me by 0.07 seconds at 2:12. Also this one competitor keeps on trying to cut me off and sprints away when I try to pass him. I know I can beat him, I just don't want to waste all of my energy trying to pass him one and a half laps into the race. I have tried to pass him in the last 300m but he just speeds up, and I know I can't keep a dead sprint for that long during a race. So in short what I need to do is get more speed endurance and get around this kid. Please respond ASAP with what you think could help me, I really need to put my all into it so I can achieve this. Thank you so much for your advice and for answering all of my questions, you have helped me tremendously!

Answer

If you were one of my athletes I would give you this advise based on what you are telling me. If your championship meet is this week then all of the work that you have done is in your system and now it is time to fine tune and put a strategy in place for your races. The most common strategy for most runners is to go out hard, ease up and the kick it in. It is really important to have a race strategy going into the competition. I would suggest that you surprise your competition in the 800 with a strong 3rd 200. This will do a couple of things... 1. Get your momentum going into the 2nd lap when generally people relax waiting to kick it in. 2. Take the confidence out of your competitors with a move that they are not expecting. Give this a try...it usually helps you drop your time down in addition to tests you to see how far you can push yourself. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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