Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Learn Now What You Will Know Later

There have been several times I wished I knew in high school what I learned later on in life. You know, the comments like "If I only trained this way in high school I would of been so much faster." So much lost potential because of what you might not know. Don't be that person! Be proactive and learn now, what you will know later! A few things you can do now are:

Go to Google! There is so much information on training and racing on-line. With the Internet you can access this information very easily. And if you can't locate what you want you can more than likely find a book to order that has what you are looking for.

Talk to coaches who have been around the sport and have runners who improve on a regular basis. If they have a history of getting a lot of runners out to compete and those runners consistently improve, they have something valuable to share.

Talk to other runners. Find that Foot Locker All-American or All-State runner in your area and ask questions. How do you train? How many miles do you run in the summer? How fast or slow do you run those miles? etc... You can also talk to runners who are not top state runners but who have improved over the years. For example, you can probably get valuable information out of the runner who ran 18:00 as a Sophomore and 17:00 as a Junior and then 16:00 as a Senior. They may not be winning all of their races, but they sure know how to improve!

Learn your body!!! Find out what works best for you. You will find a lot of conflicting information out there. Some say to put in a lot of slow miles to build a base, some say run less miles at a faster pace. Some say do a lot of speed work during your season while others say do more threshold workouts. Whichever way works for you is a good way. The trick is finding out what works for your body and what you can handle. Experiment and find out!

Even if you feel you have the best coach in the world, learn everything you can about your sport! One day you may be on your own and need to train yourself. Or you may even become a coach in the future. The more you know, the better off you will be. But, most importantly, you would be best served learning and applying as much as you can now so you don't ever have to look back at your high school running career and question what you did, or didn't do.

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