Competing requires attitude

By Susan Stetson


At a recent gathering of athletes, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the topics of conversation were: 1) how did you do in such & such race, 2) what type of training are you doing now, or 3) what race are you training for next? It seems that there are two types of runners. Those who run for the joy of running (non-competitive) and those who worry about how fast they can go or how far they can run (competitive).

Non-competitive runners run any day they can fit it into their schedule and any distance they feel like running while competitive runners tend to follow a planned training schedule in preparation for the next race. A non-competitive runner might wear a heart-rate monitor to help even out their pace so they can run farther or breathe easier.

A competitive runner might wear a heart-rate monitor as part of their training plan, to develop a certain pace for a particular distance race. There are other factors to consider before becoming a competitive runner: how well do you deal with stress, injuries, or pressure from your peers?

A non-competitive runner runs for relaxation or a break from the workday while a competitive runner generally is in training for that next race. A competitive runner obviously would be more stressed out about how well they are training, if they are ready for the big day, or nervous about how well they are going to perform. Both types have good and bad days. A non-competitive runner is less likely to receive injuries, although it is still possible to step in a hole and twist your ankle or break a bone. A competitive runner is more likely to receive overuse injuries such as pulled muscles, blisters, missing toenails, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, hip displascia, knee problems, etc.

Then, there is the pressure from your peers in competitive running. Oh, it’s not always meant to be pressure, but for a competitive runner any comment on their racing form becomes a criticism/a call to do better. Hearing that their rival ran one minute faster than they did is a call to battle! Running non-competitively requires a completely different mental attitude from running competitively. Some runners have no desire to compete in races. (Some runners compete in races only against their own personal records, which I consider non-competitive). And, some compete against their arch rivals. But, in both types of running, ultimately, you are your own master and you decide your fate, you decide when you are going to run, how far, and how often. No one else can make that decision for you.

Extra Miles: A new top gun, Zachery Heissner won the Killearn 10 Mile Challenge in 56:29. Laurel Slyck was first woman in 66:07. Master’s winners were Reid Vannoy 61:24 and Yvonne Gsteiger 74:17. PR’s were set by Josh Coy, Greg Waddell, Jack McDermott, Allison Eagen, Hobson Fulmer, Mark Francis, Janna Walkup, Jeff Crisp, Jimmy Ledford, Keith Berry, Rolando Ramirez, Lanny Sellers, Chris Schrema, Ithel Jones, Connie Clarke, Philip Munoz, Bill Hollin,Dena Coulis, Chris Boudreaux, Gallagher Dempsy, Kristy Connell, Logan Wolcott, Paul Ahnberg, Dan Oronje, Jamie Story, Jeff Kuperberg, Matt Schrader, Jim Walker, Mark Sandvoss, Emily Ruddell, Chris Skinner, Kay Posey, Susan Ledford, John Yearty, Tammy Cotton, Russell Cotton, Helen Gallego, Donna Cannella, Robin ONeill-Wann.