Be Strategic

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If you've watched an Ironman World Championship broadcast, you've probably viewed the day from end to end and somewhere in that show, you saw an athlete suffering to put one foot forward in front of the other.

One of the most notable examples comes from the 1982 Ironman World Championship when Julie Moss collapses on Ali'I Drive while she's in the final stretch to the finish.  Through a combination of walking and crawling, she makes her way to the finish.

Her will to finish is moving and we idolize her courage.

I feel like I'm about to touch a third rail if I say anything negative about that finish.  At the same time, I feel like there are some athletes who feel like they need to push to that limit in every single race. 

I’m not saying Julie should have pulled the plug and in her situation, so close to the finish, I would have done the same thing.  But she didn't win -- she got beat within yards of the finish line.

Ironman is not an act of bravery, it is a game of strategy and if you look at the winners, in almost every case, they are in control of their race. 

That's not to say you won't end up in a situation where you're in over your head -- it happens but if it's happening more times than not, you really need to consider what you're doing wrong.

Given the choice between winning and being immortalized in an Ironman marketing video, I'm going with the former.