Held back at races

has anyone experienced the feeling of being held back when in a race. The best way to describe it is if you imagine someone has got you on a bungie cord. You try to increase pace within your capabilities but you can't. The 100 meters from finish line, the cord is suddenly cut and away you go for a sprint finish. I know the sort of pace that I am capable of but can't increase to it.


  • It's your brain playing tricks on you. It's holding you back because it doesn't know how long you intend to keep running and doesn't want you to die - basic survival instinct. But when it knows you're almost done, it'll let you off the leash (or bungee, as you put it).
    I'm kind of past that point now - I tend to use everything up during the race and rarely have much of a sprint left at the end.
  • thank you. interesting point. when I run a (10k for example) on my own I feel like I am going really well. then when I used to run with club, or in race that horrible sensation happens. Did read a solution, to regularly run 8 or 9 miles in training. When it has happened, it has been the max distance that I have tended to run. Which would fit in with your theory.
  • Thank you. Worth considering as I do have concentration issues that effect me in others ways. 
  • I don't think you should consider taking any pills for this. I'm not sure if that's not just spam, seems an unorthodox thing to suggest.

    Which hurts first? Breathing or legs? It must be one or the other. If breathing, regulate your breathing and work on increasing your vo2 max (I think altitude training and hill runs are good for that but Google it). If legs then it's just a question of increasing mileage and frequency of runs (but don't go too far too soon).

    If nothing hurts then it's a mental problem and you CAN go faster, you just aren't.
  • Thank You. Nothing hurts. it is a bit like running through water, except the drag is not specifically in the legs. On Thursday I joined a running club, which is the other time that I can get this sensation - thinking about it more, seems like it is when I run with others. I seemed to manage to over come it by concentrating on my form, which I need to work on a bit. I worked on - hips slightly more forward, back straight, head up, and most importantly, leaning slightly forward. More trials are needed. More club nights ahead, plus Birmingham Half in 2 weeks which will be the furthest I have ever run.
Sign In or Register to comment.