Racing not to lose is how one races. Our mindset might be "I love to win." And this is great. To be clear, "winning" to me is not necessarily defined as crossing the finish line first. Certainly, for some it is. Winning can be the act of setting a PR at a given race or over a given distance. Or it can mean beating a particular individual who normally beats you. Or it could simply be completing a particular distance of race for the first time.
"Winning" takes on many guises and its definition can be far-reaching. When someone says to me "I love to win", my immediate follow-on question is this: "OK, but how much do you hate to lose?" To me, hating to lose is more important than loving to win. Those who hate to lose seem to extract more out of themselves and their performances than those who either have not contemplated this aspect of preparation or who instead just focus on the "winning" side of things.
If you hate to lose, you tend to bloody yourself as you try to smash through your limitations and barriers. Sometimes, you are an effective battering ram and you do smash those barriers to pieces. Sometimes, you do hit that brick wall and you're the one who gets smashed. But, then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and gather yourself for another run at that brick wall. And, guess what? You eventually smash through it. In any event, you are constantly trying to be the absolute best you can be.
I do not equate the love of winning with the hatred of losing. They are two different things, intertwined but separate. So, I guess this week's post boils down to this. Have you asked yourself how much you hate to lose? If not, you should. Whatever your answer, you will learn something about yourself and, hopefully, be able to apply something new to both your training and racing experiences.