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Stop worrying about everyone else, get those kicks on and get out the door. Unless it’s your rest day, then rest like a boss.”

Robbie Britton – Ultra runner & Profeet ambassador

Robbie’s OCC race report

It doesn’t matter how fast you are if everyone else is faster.

In this day and age there is a huge temptation to compare everything we do against everyone else. Be it on Strava, Facebook, Twitter or just in racing and training, but is this really the best way to measure improvement?

 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, running and especially ultra-running is getting more popular. Successful schemes like Parkrun have seen participation numbers sky-rocket in recent years and, gradually, the competition at the top of the pyramid is improving through this too.

 

Nats and I moved to France so that we could get better at racing the Continentals on their own turf, specifically for yours truly, at the UTMB races. Last year I finished 11th at the CCC, but this year 16th at the OCC. I may not have got a brilliant grade for my A-Level Maths, but that seems to be going backwards…

Yet the performance on the day was a belter (for me anyway). In typically British weather and wearing ‘the tiniest outfit in the race’ there were improvements across the board. Uphill, downhill, eating, drinking and pacing were all spot on and with a few more kilometres I might have caught a whole bunch more runners (but it was just a 56km race and we all knew that at the start). It was a better performance than 2016 and that’s the thing to focus on.

If we spend too much time looking extrinsically for our satisfaction and motivation then disappointment is always around the corner, essentially out of our control.

If we focus on our own personal growth, one step at a time, then there are tangible goals to be grasped.

With road running it’s easier to focus on your own progression through PBs at set distances, but still don’t get obsessed with others improving faster or doing more mileage.

Focus on consistently improving your own running and you will find your potential. Focus on what others are doing and even that mental stress alone will affect yo

So this last weekend out I went again, on the start line with Profeet’s Iain Martin at the Trail Aiguilles Rouges 55k and this time 9th (7th plus some time penalties added for incorrect kit). Much more out of the comfort zone on rocky trails, with plenty of time at altitude, but top ten is better than 16th right?

Even though in the Chamonix valley a local race always features some rather impressive runners (e.g. Diego Pazos, 6th at the 2016 World Trails Champs was 4th at this race) it wasn’t as strong a performance for yours truly.

Effort was little too fast at the start, dehydration set in and then eating jelly babies become a little bit of a struggle, which wasn’t something I’d previously deemed possible.

All in all both performances had plenty of positives and show me moving in the right direction, but both had working points too.

If you want to become the best runner you can be then it’s important to be honest with yourself, stop worrying about everyone else, get those kicks on and get out the door. Unless it’s your rest day, then rest like a boss.


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