When middles first became part of serious competition Stan became the master and his simple summary of the right approach was "Don't rush" .
I'd add one more word - Focus.
Agree, there's a definite feeling to need to rush that comes with a shorter winning time, 1 minute start gaps, and a strong field.
Nixon talks about a 'buffer zone' that's required for clean orienteering and smooth flow. Mine was only as far as my eyes could see, and so was also back-to-front (ground to map vs map to ground). Happens all too often with me and sometimes the terrain/nature of the competition allows for it (such as simplified terrain with non-straight RC or packs in relays) but almost never in middle races. The good thing is that it might work at Tio if my usual habits should return... (not what I'm aiming for though) :-)