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Recommitting to the pace, and your goal finishing time, is a hybrid tactic that combines positive mental cues with surging to get back on pace.
As discussed previously, our instinctive reaction to the physical stress of racing is to back off and slow down. One way the mind tries to convince you to stop is by tricking you into thinking you’re hurting more than you actually are. Your thoughts begin to drift from race splits and good form to the searing of your lungs and the cement-like feeling in your legs. The more you focus on these things, the more they seem to hurt and drag you down.
To prevent your brain from convincing itself you’re going to die if you don’t slow down, you need to refocus your mental thoughts and recommit to pushing the pace by reaffirming your goals. Try to relax, calm your thoughts, and look deep inside yourself. Is there something more there? If so, recommit to your goals and return your focus to running your pace.
This drastic change in thought process mid-race doesn’t come easy. Just like shooting a free-throw at the end of a game requires experience and practice, so does recommitting during the middle of a race. Practice recommitting during your next tempo run or your next hard workout and you’ll be better prepared on race day.