Thursday, January 27, 2011

Secretly Getting the Edge

Raise your hand if you've ever kept a secret about your training or racing.

Yeah that's what I figured. I knew you'd lie. Just because you "forget" to tell others about your new training regimen it doesn't make you honest. You're a liar like the rest of us. We all keep running secrets from each other. Some are bigger than others of course, but they're still lies. It helps us get a leg up or at least feel like we got a leg up.

As most of you know I have a pretty solid rivalry going with the Lazy Trail Runner. It's always been fun and it keeps us both working hard. A few years ago I started into some speed training for the first time...behind his back. We'd always run together, but I started "seeing" someone else. Someone with a heap of "getting faster" knowledge and a very special 9-week running schedule just for me. I would sneak away after work and not answer the Lazy Trail runners calls and head out to Burnaby Lake to lay down some tracks in hopes that I could clean his clock at our next head to head. When race day came I did just that by eight minutes. Upon his crossing the finish line I disclosed the entire plan and threw my head back with a devilish cackle. It was fun. It worked and it was dishonest for fun.
I think we commonly call this "SECRET TRAINING". We all do it to some extent for whatever reason. Perhaps it's intervals or hill repeats. Or maybe it's recovery tricks like compression clothes, ice baths or protein powders. Maybe it's strength training in a gym, where runners really feel out of place, or some special massage treatment. Whatever it is we all do it and it's absolutely healthy. It means we're alive and ready to work hard to beat our rivals. Rivalry is healthy as long as it doesn't lead to actual cheating like performance enhancement or cutting courses to get ahead.

I would be willing to bet that most of you have done something today that you do because you believe it makes you a stronger runner...and you've chosen to keep it to yourself. You've done so because the next time you race you'll have the edge of knowing you did it. Maybe you ran on that cold, rainy day when everyone else stayed home or maybe you started a new training schedule. Whatever it is, you won't disclose it to your rivals, at least not right away, because right now, you have the edge.

But remember we all do it. While you're getting that pre-race massage and sipping that special protein, energy, Cal-Mag, chia seed, Udos oil smoothie, your rivals are doing the same thing and they too think they have the edge.

Just think, in the time you took to sit on your fattening keester at the computer and read this blog somebody got the edge on you. Maybe a couple people.

Rivalry is fun. It keeps us honest even when we're lying.


  1. Recently I have tested the rest is best hypothesis... (I think I've overdone it though)

  2. HAHA! So true in the name of friendly competition.

  3. That's exactly it - Friendly competition. It really does keep us working hard though doesn't it?

  4. BUSTED! Damn, of all people Craik I thought you'd be the last to figure it out. I didn't 'actually' break my foot...I just bought a cast and crutches and have been dropping 200mile training weeks for the last 14 weeks straight.
    I thought I'd covered all my tracks, like gaining 18lbs to offset the emaciated appearance of a 200m/wk runner...and yet you, you meddling kid, you gone and figured er out and busted my cover...damn you Thomas, damn you!!!!


  5. so.....where were you last night? ;p

  6. Mr C I'd have to kill you if I told you

  7. I love being the "other man"

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  9. Hi my long lost friend. Came across your blog and would love to catch up! Hope you are well. What is your email addy?

    Nicole (Trottier)=)