My best races

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I do duathlons, triathlons and 5k – they are what are important for me. I was reflecting on my ‘best’ ones and why they were the best. I’ve been thinking about this post for a while.

What struck me was that my first thoughts as to what were ‘best’ were purely performance related. I guess ‘best’, to me, means what I am most proud of.

Super star Pavey with the flag and medal.
Super star Pavey with the flag and medal.

My best triathlon was a earlier this year in a BTF qualifier. EVERYTHING went right. Best swim and 5k split and effectively racing with someone on the bike. The near-perfect storm. I had virtually no sleep the night before – which shows that maybe we shouldn’t worry too much if somethings go wrong. And I tapered well with lots and lots of rest. Weather was great, result was what I hoped for.

My best 5k was a few years back and of course a PB for a local parkrun course. Again tapering was perfect as was the block of training before that. The feeling of achievement going over the line and knowing that finally you have achieved something you’ve been working towards for months was a great feeling. And one that lasted for hours. I have got better positions before and since then but for me it is the personal achievement of ‘me’ and not ‘me compared to others’ that is important. I’m sure I’m not alone in having these PB achievements…you’ve probably had more than me in the last few years tho 🙂 A few weeks later I would have gone faster still were it not for the start of an extended period of injuries.

My best duathlon was an ITU event. It went very well. I caught the guy I intended to on the line and beat him. Family and friends were there. I proudly had the GB kit on. I thought I’d won a medal. I later found out that I hadn’t and since then I have often reflected that ‘if only’ I had better kit and ‘if only’ I had not mucked up T2 I WOULD have got a medal. Those are very annoying ‘if onlys’ as they could easily have been sorted out with only a few hours of practice and only a few hundred pounds and would have reflected the achievement of a lifetime ambition. Normally an ‘if only’ involves ‘if only I’d trained harder for the previous 3 months’…not quite the same thing. Still, until I found out the real result, I felt really good ! and it was a pretty good performance in any case.

Of course ‘your’ best race could have been the one where you finally beat your mate or when your dragged around one of your family/friends kicking and screaming for the first time or a race that started a change in the direction of your life – maybe exercise related, that has now left you in a much better health position in life.

We’re all different. But the common thread of all those performances was the motivation to do well on the day and having conservatively tapered in preparation

Thoughts anyone?



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