“Somewhere, someone in the world is training when you are not. When you meet [him/her, he/she] will win.” – you know who said that!
Does this mean that you always must be physically training in your sport of choice? Or is there something more to training? What goes into bringing your best for a race and in turn doing your best? The perfect day depends on so many factors outside of an athlete’s control so don’t bother focusing on those. Focus on what you can control – you.
A personal best comes down to you bringing your best and executing. “Training” is all encompassing. An athlete spends time with the physical part of training, but there is the mental preparation and discipline, recovery, cross training to help other muscles develop, and yes, even the break from the pressure to enjoy other interests. That can, and most definitely, should happen. By training in all these areas, you can arrive at the starting line primed and ready to race. From that point on, racing is just the execution of a well-laid plan and training program.
Personal bests will come. And when they do, the journey is what makes them so special. Enjoy the challenges of training. Enjoy the feeling of race day and the excitement and nerves. Not every race will be a new best, but when you achieve it, recognize the commitment you’ve made in all areas and not just the particular sport. It’s a well-earned result and should be celebrated.