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Topic: Sport & Training

The Housler Effect

When I was younger there was a group of runners who would get together for training sessions and races.

The training was organized by one of the more experienced runners.  We would meet at a local high school track.  After a two mile warm up, we would hit the track to do the prescribed workout. It was fun.

The racing was also great because we knew each other and had our own rivalries to keep things interesting.

One of the runners in our group was Cal Housler (not his real name).  What a runner!   He seemed to glide around the track while the rest of us would plod along, huffing and puffing. Without a doubt, he was one of the most graceful runners of the day.

When it came to racing, however, Cal had a problem.  He never seemed to perform up to expectations.  Oh sure, he would start out fine, often leading his age group.  But then, within half a mile or so of the finish line, Cal would tie up.  His fists would clench, his shoulders would bunch up, his face a grimace of sheer agony.  His pace would drop and he would often be passed by less gifted runners.

We began to notice that this was a consistent phenomenon.  The race distance did not matter.  Put Cal on the starting line of a 10 K (6.2 mile) race and he would fade at around six miles, just two tenths short of the finish line.  The same for a half marathon:  blazingly fast for the first thirteen miles but the anchor would come out within the last tenth of a mile.

More often than not, Cal would fall apart within sight of the finish line.  We called this The Housler Effect.

Do you fade as you near your finish line?  The reality is, it is never as bad as you think it will be.  Cal’s reality was, it always was as bad as he thought it would be.  What is your reality?

Read my blog, “Where Is The Top Of The Hill.”  Had Cal been able to do that, the Housler Effect would never have been born.

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