What Does It Take to Be A World-Class Runner?

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runnerMy goal is not just to be the best runner I can be where I live. No, I want to be recognized, revered, and emulated as one of the best runners in the world. I do have degrees from some of the most prominent running schools and have attended all of the most famous running conferences. I read all of the leading running guides, books, magazines, websites, blogs, and tweets. I also make it a habit to imitate world-class runners as much as possible.

I regularly buy the hottest equipment recommended by the most elite runners and even sport their running attire. I put in the same amount of training each week as they do, including mimicking their long runs on the weekend. It is not always easy, but I continue to follow their running guides and model their running regimens even when it doesn’t always resonate with my running partners. My group just needs to learn how much sacrifice is actually required to achieve world-class running status.

My running ability has opened some doors for opportunities to lead and coach other runners. I have even written some of my own running guides with moderate local success. These accolades continue to give me hope that I am on the most expedient path to world-class running status. I am encouraged that my preparation is in fact on target when I hear how my running inspires and influences others.

It is true that some have indicated that the pressure of running at this tempo has taken their joy out of running. I am not oblivious to the rumors that some would like to consider looking for a new coach, while others have just drifted off to run in other places. But, world-class running requires sacrifice! I have to continually remind others and myself that losing runners who constantly complain each time the mileage increases or the course varies is not that great of a loss. Anyone not up for the challenge should probably connect with a slower group anyway.

Sometimes running ahead of the pack can be lonely, but slowing down to look over my shoulder and wait for others to catch up will never allow me to reach world-class status. Besides, if I am asked to slow the pace too much I can always just look for another place to run. I am sure there are other running groups who would be more progressive, more appreciative of my abilities, and more supportive of my goals.

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