Relay vs open race mentality


#1

Anyone else notice a distinct difference in their performances between open races and relays?

I don’t know if I just have some sort of weird mental block or what, but I always seem to perform much better in relays than I do in open races.

In Indoor I’ve always been mediocre in the open 200, but if I’m the lead-off leg running against kids with open times easy .75 better than me, i routinely stay neck and neck with them, often beating them.

Last year at outdoor conference meet, I didn’t run a very good open 100, didn’t make the finals. In the 4x1 I was the anchor leg and in the lane next to me was a guy who, at the time, had a 100m pr about .30 faster than me and was a 2-time 300m hurdle conference champ. He got the baton a full second before I did. I beat him by a solid 5 meters.

Opening meet for outdoor this season, terrible open 100, was lead off leg in the 4x1 against a guy who ran a full second faster than me in the open 1, burned him.

anyone else like this?


#2

Originally posted by SprintsFTW19@Apr 18 2010, 04:26 PM
[b] Anyone else notice a distinct difference in their performances between open races and relays?

I don’t know if I just have some sort of weird mental block or what, but I always seem to perform much better in relays than I do in open races.

In Indoor I’ve always been mediocre in the open 200, but if I’m the lead-off leg running against kids with open times easy .75 better than me, i routinely stay neck and neck with them, often beating them.

Last year at outdoor conference meet, I didn’t run a very good open 100, didn’t make the finals. In the 4x1 I was the anchor leg and in the lane next to me was a guy who, at the time, had a 100m pr about .30 faster than me and was a 2-time 300m hurdle conference champ. He got the baton a full second before I did. I beat him by a solid 5 meters.

Opening meet for outdoor this season, terrible open 100, was lead off leg in the 4x1 against a guy who ran a full second faster than me in the open 1, burned him.

anyone else like this? [/b]

I have, which is the reason I love running for relays. When you run a relay, especially being the anchor leg you have a distinct feeling, something probably along the lines of really having to run fast. I think the difference is that you have people depending on you. In an open race its you against the clock or your opponents, and if you have a bad race your really the only one that is affected. If your in a relay you have yourself, and three other people depending on you so that feeling of running fast is greater because you have three more people to run faster for.


#3

Originally posted by Sasquatch+Apr 18 2010, 05:15 PMQUOTE (Sasquatch @ Apr 18 2010, 05:15 PM)<!–QuoteBegin-SprintsFTW19@Apr 18 2010, 04:26 PM
[b] Anyone else notice a distinct difference in their performances between open races and relays?

I don’t know if I just have some sort of weird mental block or what, but I always seem to perform much better in relays than I do in open races.

In Indoor I’ve always been mediocre in the open 200, but if I’m the lead-off leg running against kids with open times easy .75 better than me, i routinely stay neck and neck with them, often beating them.

Last year at outdoor conference meet, I didn’t run a very good open 100, didn’t make the finals. In the 4x1 I was the anchor leg and in the lane next to me was a guy who, at the time, had a 100m pr about .30 faster than me and was a 2-time 300m hurdle conference champ. He got the baton a full second before I did. I beat him by a solid 5 meters.

Opening meet for outdoor this season, terrible open 100, was lead off leg in the 4x1 against a guy who ran a full second faster than me in the open 1, burned him.

anyone else like this? [/b]

I have, which is the reason I love running for relays. When you run a relay, especially being the anchor leg you have a distinct feeling, something probably along the lines of really having to run fast. I think the difference is that you have people depending on you. In an open race its you against the clock or your opponents, and if you have a bad race your really the only one that is affected. If your in a relay you have yourself, and three other people depending on you so that feeling of running fast is greater because you have three more people to run faster for.[/b][/quote]
THIS. It’s all about your mental state. Last year at the state meet I ran horribly in my open 400, 53.8. Came back for the 4x4 and ran 51.9 to help break the school record. I was a sophomore, my 3 teammates were seniors, knowing I couldn’t let them down pushed me harder. Just try to find that energy you get during relays for your open races too, you’re the same person, you know how fast you can run, it’s just a matter of mentally pushing yourself to run your best no matter the situation.


#4

Originally posted by Michael Johnson@Apr 19 2010, 10:53 PM

THIS. It’s all about your mental state. Last year at the state meet I ran horribly in my open 400, 53.8. Came back for the 4x4 and ran 51.9 to help break the school record. I was a sophomore, my 3 teammates were seniors, knowing I couldn’t let them down pushed me harder. Just try to find that energy you get during relays for your open races too, you’re the same person, you know how fast you can run, it’s just a matter of mentally pushing yourself to run your best no matter the situation.

^This actually.

It’s because your race affects 3 other people’s race. It’s no longer about yourself and how you do, it’s about how if you let go of the guy in front of you, you royally screw your teammates over.


#5

3 things to consider

  1. you are running the curve in the 100, something you may be better at.

  2. you are starting using a baton, something you may be better at.

  3. you have people to chase after if you are not in the last lane.


#6

I feel the same way on the 4x800 as well but I feel like the whole “running for the team” aspect just makes you better in general, not just relays. In cross country, I was running varsity for a good team and I would always push just a bit harder to get the team for the win. A few weeks after the State Meet was done, I a post-season race (nothing big) and I ended up being a minute slower than normal. I kept training right through to the race but when it came to the middle of the race, I couldn’t muster the will to finish strong. Without having a team and coach to expect anything out of me and count on me, my motivation slipped away.

As an average runner, I think having a team counting on you makes a huge difference in performances. I’m sure that this doesn’t affect elite runners as much but I think that there’s definitely an impact on performances when it’s running for the team and not personal time.