During my Facebook browsing last night, one status update jumped out that interested me. Mark Hadley posted a piece on his Runner's Mental Predisposition Theory. No need for me to try to explain Mark's theory, because I couldn't do the expert enough justice. I do suggest reading it at the above link.
What interested me the most was trying to figure out where I fell within his theory? Self analysis is often a good thing and can be somewhat of a humbling experience. Maybe not as humbling as someone else's analysis but still good idea all the same.
Reading through the four quadrants and the attributes associated with each, I tried to fit myself into one of the four quadrants. My guess is that no one person fit perfectly into a quadrant so I tried to find the quadrant with which I shared the most attributes.
• Higher strung, more intense personality (High Strung doesn't sound like but intense I would say so)
• Ability to stay aggressive and focused during lactate accumulation (I'd say sometimes)
• Becomes increasingly passive and distracted as energy system fatigue builds (Nay, not me)
• Under-performs training level in races over 60 minutes in duration (I'd say that I am the opposite here)
• On par or over-performs training level in races under 60 minutes in duration (I wouldn't say this is necessary true)
• Excels at shorter distance races (800 to 10k in length) (Maybe I getting order is the reason, but don't feel I exel here)
• Extremely confident, self assured personality (I'd like to think so at least where running is concerned)
• Ability to stay aggressive and execute race plans in either fatigue situation (stay aggressive yes, execute is a strong word, I like the word adjust race plans better so yes)
• Ability to race on par or better than training level at all race distances (I'd say yes. My training pace rarely approach my racing paces)
• Can excel at any race distance and often has large race range (not sure about this one. 800 and a mile efforts hurt. Mentally, I wish they would go faster but most of the time they simply refuse)
• More laid back or easy going personality (Outside of running, I would say yes)
• Ability to stay aggressive and focused during energy system fatigue (I'd say yes)
• Becomes increasingly passive and distracted as lactate accumulates (I am trying to stay open minded that maybe a little bit of "yes" here)
• Under-performs training level in races under 60 minutes in duration (I'd say yes)
• On par or over-performs training level in races over 60 minutes in duration (I'd say yes)
• Excels at longer race distances (half marathon to marathon) (Again, I'd say yes)
• Apathetic personality (Definitely a "NO")
• Becomes very passive during lactate accumulation (I'd say no)
• Becomes increasingly passive as energy system fatigue builds (I'd say no)
• Underperforms training level at all distances (I'd say no)
• Does not particularly excel at any race distance (I'd say no)
Somewhere between quadrant 2 and quadrant 3 is where the Cool Down Runner falls. Being confident and self assured are attributes that I strive to achieve. Executing my race plans within reason. A race plan is only as good as your ability to adjust. Races never unfold exactly as one would expect them. Adjusting to the ebb and flow of a race is a key attribute and comes from your confidence in your ability.
I race at all distances but not always running well at all distances. However, I attribute this to a corollary to Mark's Theory. One can race well at all distances but to excel at any one distance, one needs to specialize. Thus, one can run decent race times over a number of different distances but may not have exceptional times. Only once they specialize will they get close to their maximum potential
Laid back and easy going personality is something that I hope comes out when I am not racing. Usually, for training runs and workouts, I am pretty flexible when it comes to getting it done either solo or with a group.
I like to think that my number of solid marathons efforts show my ability to handle energy system fatigue.
For races less than 60 minutes, I'd say that I race on par. Usually, I don't ever exceed my expectations.
Really, the last 2 bullets of quadrant 3 show where my forte lies. I like to think that I excel at these two bullets.
As for quadrant 1 and 4, maybe a little of me is present in quadrant run. I would like to think that quadrant 4 and I don't share any attributes, but perspective is everything.
So this is my read on myself. Anyone else that reads this and feel differently leave a comment with your thoughts. Maybe I am just blinded by my rose colored sunglasses.
Sharing one thought at a time,
The Cool Down Runner