Max effort is relative. Most of it depends on what you bring with you but there are other factors as well. Are you better at chasing or being chased? Some people are motivated to take the lead and others are motivated to keep it. I personally don’t like to be in first but I like to win. Go figure. Coming from behind fires me up. My best efforts usually come from trying to be someone else rather than trying to beat myself. This is a weakness on my part because when the demands of a situation call for my best and I am the only one performing how do I give max effort? There are more subtle pieces as well. Having just the right music, the right shoes, not to cold, but not too hot either, and there sure as hell better be chalk. Who cares if it is just a blood pressure test. You better chalk up. Can you go hard at 6am or does it have to be around 2:30pm on a weekday when you didn’t have too much for lunch and you got more than 7 hours of sleep? How much of your life is built around doing your best in the areas that it matters most. I was listening to a lecture about elite cycling and the presenter was hammering the point that at that level every decision an athlete makes is either going to move them closer to or further away from their objective. What is your primary objective? Do you have one? Is your life built around achieving it? If so, how often do you give max effort, whatever that means for you, in order to achieve this aim?