Obviously most of us are not going to be paid to run or earn a lot (or any, most likely) money running and racing. I think we could still all learn a lot from how elites run.
If you’ve ever watched an elite runner, you probably marveled at how effortless they make running fast look. A lot of effort goes into being an elite runner, and I think all runners could take a page from the elite runner’s book.
Pick races carefully
Elite runners don’t usually race injured. It happens, like it does to everyone, but they are much more choosy about the races they run. They often will bail on a race with weather that isn’t conducive to their best performance.
Obviously elite runners’ livelihood is on the line — there’s prize money to be won to support their families. Elite runners, can, and do, run in some amazingly bad weather, too. Boston Marathon tales are made from those races!
Because their livelihood is on the line, though, they are more likely to skip the races that don’t play to their strengths.
Don’t run #alltheraces
I still remember listening to Meb on a runner panel at my very first half — yes, that Meb (I wish I’d known who he was!). He talked about how elite runners don’t run a marathon every month. Don’t race a marathon every month, anyway, no doubt they’re running marathons as training runs, which is faster than we mere mortal runners can race.
Elite runners know that races are grueling and they need to be trained and recover properly — Deena Kastor even wrote about how she took months off after a marathon. No running at all!
Do all that supportive crap you don’t want to do
They take ice baths, they get massages, they foam roll, they lift weights, they do yoga — and more! They have a whole team taking care of them, of course. It’s their job. They also put in the hard work in every way to make their dreams come to fruition.
Take fueling seriously
You’re probably not going to find elite runners downing some beers the night before a race. Or having poptarts as a pre-race breakfast. They know that if you eat crap, you feel like crap, and even worse — it effects your performance.
Recover like it’s your job
Well, for them it is their job. However, not all elite runners are just runners. Believe it or not, some have families and jobs in addition to running, too. This one also goes back to #dontrunalltheraces — you generally won’t find them running a marathon every week, or month, or even multiple marathons every year. They take time off after a goal race to properly recover; to be able to come back even stronger.
What else do elite runners do that we could lean from?
Which one of these do you think would help you if you started to do it?
How much does hard work vs the right body type and talent come into play to make a runner elite, do you think?