When a half a dozen or so sprightly Africans scamper off at the start of next month's world championship marathon, Dan Robinson will hold his nerve.
Instead of haring after them, as will most of his rivals, the Tipton Harrier will bide his time, settle into a metronomic rhythm and grind away at his own pace, mile after unfluctuating mile.
The hope is that most of the athletes in front of him will tire and be powerless to resist when Robinson sails past them 90 minutes later.
The Stroud-based runner is a man who runs every race according to an old sporting maxim. Running 26 miles and 385 yards is, after all, a marathon and not a sprint. No clich? can ever have had such sound foundations.
Why should he do anything else? The tactic served him well at the Olympic Games last year and will probably do so again on August 13.
Predictably, on a route and in conditions where such a distance would be better covered on air-conditioned public transport, there was the usual bolting out of the gates in Athens last summer.
It wasn't a spectacular pace but, given the searing temperatures and undulating course, the 30-year-old correctly predicted most of the field would go too soon.
Trailing at the halfway mark he clawed his way back and finished in an extremely respectable 23rd of 102 entrants.
Although his time of two hours 17 minutes and 53 seconds was four minutes outside his personal best, it was worth as much given the situation in which it was earned.
"I was always going to start off very conservatively but to go through the field in the last half of the race was brilliant because I was going past some athletes with very good PBs," Robinson said.
"I was surprised that so many went with the main group - virtually the whole field went with the pace. I waited and was confident that they would come back to me."
His confidence was not misplaced and that's why he's intending to use a similar strategy in two weeks' time.
"Three-quarters of the field will go with the pacemakers but not finish with them. My game plan will be the same as in Athens - to stay off the early pace that does all the damage and come through in the last half of the race.
"Championships are all about performing on the day. The time will take care of itself. If I run as well as I did in Athens my 2hr 17mins will probably translate to a 2hrs 12mins or 2hrs 14 mins."
There is a note of conjecture in his voice, as there must be. Unlike their showbiz counter-parts - the 100 metre sprinters - there is not a comparable marathon circuit on which to base these assumptions.
While Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Mark Lewis-Francis compete against each other four or five times a season, giving a clear indication as to who's hot and who's not, elite marathon runners rarely get together in the summer.
Most of the city marathons take place in the autumn, the longer road races are held in the spring and a top distance runner would expect to have only two strong races per year.
That means the very best rarely meet up and form is as much based on reputation and hearsay as concrete evidence.
For his part Robinson has been keeping his head down entering, and winning, some of the sport's less illustrious events like the Berkeley 10k and the Boughton Half Marathon.
He didn't run in this year's London Marathon after illness interrupted his preparation and had to rely on his time from last year, 2hrs 13mins 53secs, to make the qualifying standard for Helsinki.
Nevertheless, he believes he is in good enough condition to make a similarly positive impression at the world championships and he expects them to be a bit more enjoyable than last year's Olympics.
At least the Athletes' Village won't be as hectic.
"I was in Cyprus in the holding camp beforehand and that was good," he said. "But I walked into the village and the first person I see is Maurice Greene having a Big Mac. Moving to Athens was pretty hectic, in fact it was a bit of a nightmare, with 10,000 highly-strung athletes all in one space.
"You could be standing in a queue and someone would just jump in front of you and for us marathon runners it was especially difficult because our event was so late in the programme we had to put up with people partying after their's had finished."
Then, of course, there was the controversy over Paula Radcliffe's failure to finish the women's marathon. It was disconcerting for the men to see Radcliffe pushed to breaking point.
"I was pretty tense anyway but when Paula didn't finish it gave us all a bit of a jolt. I wondered what was going to happen to me if one of the best female athletes in the world couldn't manage the course. But I would have finished it if it had meant I had to walk in."
And one suspects he's going to Helsinki with the same attitude.