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The Art Of Getting To The Finish Line

The other weekend I completed the Red Bull Defiance that is set in the hills surrounding Wanaka – what a brutal course with so much climbing and in hot conditions. This is a two person team event where you need to do the entire course together supporting each other through the ups and downs.

The last stage was a 28km “run” that had 1700 metres of elevation gain in it (that is a lot of up in the hot sun).  The final 6kms of this was on the flat around the lake to the finish line and this bit sounds like the easy section but oh no.  We knew that the finish line was just there but we were so far away and it felt like we would never make it.  We were going so slowly and had completely had enough by that time.  The landmarks crawled by and I was starting to believe that we would be actually running this track FOREVER!!!

But we did make it and as I write this 4 days later it doesn’t seem so bad – it didn’t actually take that long to get to the finish line.

So when you are at your next event and you have totally had enough and are in the middle of struggle street these things might just help to get you to the finish line without throwing your toys…

  • Set small achievable targets – just run to that big tree and then I’ll reassess.  The worse that you are feeling the closer the target is. Progress = Success
  • keep moving – walking is fine, running is even better and heck crawling is okay too but just don’t stop as you will be out there forever.
  • Distract yourself – what else can you see, what else can you think about.
  • Celebrate each target – have a drink, pat yourself on the back, give yourself an internal well done.
  • Put the distance into reality especially if you haven’t done the track before – okay so it is 6kms to go – that is the same as me running around to the ice-cream shop and back – I can do that.
  • Think about all the important people in your life that are wanting you to do well and keep putting the effort in for them
  • Check your technique – how is your posture, how are you moving.  This is something that you can control – good technique will help to get you there faster
  • How is your nutrition – Have you have a drink or something to eat recently?
  • High five an official or member of the public – if you give a bit out you will get some encouragement back (this does become difficult when you can’t lift your arms above the height of your waist).

And finally when you do make it make sure that you pick the pace up over the final 100m so you look good as you cross the finish line!