Finishing fast is certainly doable, but you’ll need to reorient your mind to the idea that it’s not about pushing yourself at the end of a race. It’s about training yourself to create the conditions for speed to happen by making an important adjustment to your training habits – progressive pacing.
"Focused spaciousness"… Katherine coined this phrase years ago when she was describing the state of mind she experiences when she applies the ChiRunning and ChiWalking focuses to her movement. You might think she was talking about focusing her mind while relaxing her body. But, what if you switch the words in the phrase to mean the inverse: focusing your body and relaxing your mind.
I'm noticing a somewhat macho trend in fitness training in general, where it's fashionable to work yourself to exhaustion; where you're led to believe that if you don't "feel the burn" and give it everything you've got… that you just don't "Do It,"… as the Nike ad says. There is, of course, a lot to be said for building will power and challenging yourself to feel your limits. But, there's also a lot to be said for not taking yourself, or your running, too seriously.