Chalk it up to a bad day
We all have bad races; even the best in the world have “off days” for no apparent reason. Even if you followed your training plan to the letter and rested and fueled like a pro, the inexplicable can still happen. During one of my best seasons I beat a stacked field for a big win one week and finished 48th the next. We all have a tendency to be hard on ourselves after a dud race, but even I couldn’t doubt my fitness and preparation. The off day had nothing to do with fitness. In this case it was travel, jet lag and an extended taper that had just left me flat. Instead of beating yourself up, chalk it up to a bad day and move on. Coaches and veterans of the sport have been trying to figure out the race taper for years—they have yet to come up with a perfect formula. Olympians spend four years training for a single event and sometimes get it wrong. No one can argue that they were not fit and ready to race; they just fell a little short on race day. It happens.