We ran a ladder workout (400, 800, 1200, 1200, 800, 400 with 400 recoveries) for our last track night of the fall training season. The weather was perfect, and I struggled to resist pushing our group faster than our training paces. We stayed perfectly in pace (7:23-7:55) until the very last 400 where we flew ahead (6:58) into what I call a “confidence lap.”
Once you’ve properly trained, racing becomes mostly a mental exercise. Being able to look back on the season and find moments where you pushed yourself harder than you imagined helps you get through tough races. Even more so, it’s important to see where you pushed yourself after struggling.
Two 1200s in a row can be tough and the last 400 of a ladder isn’t exactly a walk in the park. A ladder workout is a mental game in itself, savoring how each rep gets “easier” (shorter) once you’ve peaked out. Of course, short and easy are actually very different, but it’s a solid lesson in perspective.
The race is what you make it.