Chrissie Wellington may not be a household name but in the world of triathletes she’s one of the best ever. She’s a four time World Ironman Champion (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011). Wellington came to the sport in her late 20s and won the World Championship less than a year after turning professional.
In her book, A Life Without Limits, Wellington talks about the challenges she faced when she started to have professional coaching. In order to reach her potential, she had to do two things:
- Stop trying to outthink her coach.
- Run the race according to his plan.
The shift in mindset worked and Wellington often finishes in the top ten of any distance triathlon she enters. That’s the top ten of all entrants, including the men.
As a veteran of one 5K race, I’m slightly behind Wellington in terms of skill and experience. But I do know what it’s like to be at the starting line.
As soon as the gun goes off, you are in a mass of runners of all different skills. It is very tempting to let your competitive juices make you run faster than you should. You’ve trained for weeks at a certain pace and now you’re throwing it out the window.
This is a mistake as you will likely burn out at the faster than expected pace. Some may not even reach the finish line.
In order to succeed, you have to run your race, at your pace. This takes tremendous discipline and dedication to your plan.
In the workplace, you may have a plan but will you stick to it? There will be distractions that come up. Will you allow them to undermine your plan?
Will you allow the actions of your competitors to influence your race? In business, your competition may be discounting its product below the rate where you feel comfortable matching. Do you try to match their pace or stick with your instincts? A bargain basement sale may be a company’s first step toward liquidation. Remember, starting fast does not mean you end the race first.
Finally, do you give your competitors so much power over you that you follow every step that they take? Is your road to success being paved by someone else? Does it make more sense to Clear the Path of these distractions and believe in your plan instead? Run your race….