Advice for high school athletes

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What advice would you give to a high school runner that they have never heard before?

The other week we did a Q&A at Colorado Running Company. This is a question that stumped us. Any advice we have you’ve probably heard. But I’m thinking maybe that’s the point. Success in training is not going to be about some new secret knowledge. Once you start looking, you could be bombarded with tips and tricks for the rest of your life. The advice business is a good one.
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The key is learning how to digest and combine that knowledge. Who do you trust for you inner team? What is the plan for checking new sources? At what point do you decide you have enough information, and it’s time to put it to the test? How do you account for feedback and some continued learning? Under what circumstances do you change your system?
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Answers to these questions change depending on your timing, goals, and priorities. Are you looking to try out different models of training, or is it time to pick one and work toward improvement in that lane? Is something basic enough that consistency starting NOW is better than the stress and delay that comes with trying to optimize? (Hint: I think for most people, a lot of running falls in this category)

The good news: running is probably one of the most low risk arenas in which to hone research, decision and execution skills. Even if you don’t hit the time goal, you will have improved in those aspects. And you can bring that competence into the rest of the information onslaught that is our world. God speed :)
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Photo from @cortneywhite_ again!!

1,2 Step

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I’ve been doing so much better on tempo days, but today we were a bit higher elevation and it was a struggle from the start. I was emotional and wanted to cut the whole thing after I blew up on the tempo, but I jumped back in for the second part. So I guess I’ll call that the one positive for the day. Or at least a small redemption. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

Photo @cortneywhite_ !

Doing the work

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It is not upon you to finish the work; neither are you free to abstain from it.

I love this quote. I used to keep it pasted on my laptop screensaver. The internet tells me it comes from a section of the Talmud, in a commentary on Micah 6:8, about doing God’s work.

Maybe it’s a weird one to link to personal performance or athletics. Because isn’t the whole point to finish the job? But I find it particularly applicable when I’m anxious about how far I am from the end product, or dealing with a small setback.
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I’ve also seen it used in relation to activism. When the enormity of the goal gets overwhelming, it’s a reminder that there is power, and duty, in small daily acts.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8

Happy MLK weekend 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Photo by @talbotcox

Aging Potential

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At lunch yesterday, my aunt asked me if I felt like the grandma of my team. I’m not the oldest here, but I do have a few years on my mid-distance training partners, and many of my competitors. It’s probably why I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to be an older athlete.
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Track culture (like everything?) has a love affair with youth. Even though people on the medal stand range in age, the hype machine (and $$) tends to focus on young phenoms. Because a young star doesn’t just have talent, she has POTENTIAL.

In a sport that exists at the edge of human performance, we are constantly reminded of our fallibility. People lose, records stand, or they are barely broken. But in the world of potential, ability is limitless. It’s only bounded by the imagination.
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Potential’s appeal sneaks into other areas of life. In my imaginary future, I can be perfect. If I don’t hit this year’s resolution, I have the next one, or the one after that.

But an older athlete can no longer comfort herself with the illusion of more time. There is only this day, this week, this year. Which means I no longer deal in potential. That’s not to say I don’t plan. I just don’t delude myself into thinking there is a next time. The question is not only what can I be, but what can I do now, where I am, with what I have.
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Of course, Now is all we ever have. It might not be as sexy, but it’s real, and it’s there for the taking. As they say, What will you do with your one wild and precious moment?

Photo by @cortneywhite_