I always do my races based upon time – a certain pace. I have had a lot of people and some coaches tell me to race by feel, not time. This approach to racing states that you should not look at your Garmin for your pace (or if you don’t use a Garmin you should not be concerned with each mile split). When I started to research this topic I came across an article that explained why racing by feel might not be the best way to run your fastest time.
"The brain always allows a safety buffer that prevents you from running truly as fast as you could and thus risking self-harm. The size of this buffer is influenced by various factors. Basically, the more motivated you are, the smaller the protective buffer you will, and the faster you will run. Competition is a motivational factor that shrinks the buffer. It is also influenced by goals. If you set an appropriate race time goal, you will be able to run races faster than you could if you ran strictly by feel without a number in mind. A race time goal is like an imaginary competitor to race against.''
After reading that article I feel I have chosen the method to help me run the fastest.
How do you really know you went all out and ran your hardest during a race? Maybe if you looked at a GPS watch and saw you needed to run faster to hit your goals you would. I know I do.
Here is the link to the whole article: