Posts Tagged ‘goals’
I have always dreamed of going to the Olympics some day and running in college. What is the best way to work towards this goal seeing as I am already a senior in high school and am not the fastest on my team. What is your best advice to set someone on track to accomplish big goals such as these? Also what is the best way to build self confidence? As I have grown older I seem to have less and less of it and I question why I am running with “faster” runners sometimes during work outs and races.
Running in the Olympics is a huge goal many people have and very few reach, which is what makes it so special. Just because your stats don’t make you an obvious pick now doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Its been done by people who didn’t even start running until college or later! But I would be lying if I told you it was a sure thing if you just got your confidence up and trained hard. Becoming the top .0001% of anything is partly due to choices you make, but its also due to a lot of things that are out of your control (luck included).
My advice to you is to identify the qualities of an Olympian that you can control, (dedication, research, hard work, mental strength, visualization of your goals, sportsmanship, balance, confidence) and make those your focus. Live like an Olympian. Put yourself in positions to be successful. That’s all you can do.
I heard a saying in high school that changed my life, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
I still haven’t hit “the moon” but I haven’t given up. Most importantly I’ve learned that simply pursuing the moon has shaped every decision I’ve made in my life. Even if I never hit it, pursuing it affected the friends I made, the man I married, the places I traveled, the college I went to…and it just goes on for years and years and years. I wouldn’t change a thing.
So, first things first, start with finding a college program to run in. Do your research. Think like an Olympian. Go for it!
I have been running now for three months. I am a retired professional athlete (not runner), so getting into pretty serious running was a nice change and pretty manageable. However, I am of course progressing slowly, which is also fine with me. When I started, my fastest mile was around 7:40. Now, three months later I am around 6:30 miles. Just wondering what a normal timeframe is for improving my time. Shaving off 30 sec.? A min.? I run 5 days a week, both trails and track. I know it’s hard to say without knowing me, but any ballpark figure would be cool. Thanks!
-Wanting to Improve
Wanting to Improve-
It appears you have a natural talent if you are running 6:30 mile pace after 3 months! My guess is that you come from an endurance sport like cycling rather than, say, golf . Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you want to improve your mile time, and you don’t know what a reasonable goal is.
Being wired like a professional athlete, goal setting is part of your gig, but in a brand new sport, goals are tough to figure out. You have no real reference, no idea what you are capable of.
I have two recommendations for you to consider. You don’t need to do both, pick your fave:
1. Enter a road mile, or a 5k road race. You can look up performance equivalents for the mile based on your 5k. Or you can go out the first mile of a 5k with a pack and drop out at the mile! Being a natural competitor, having a pack around you will help you get a real baseline time for the mile, making it easier to set up goals to progress in the future.
2. Set up regular time trials for yourself. When you plateau, you know you will need to start doing specific training to get better. But for now you just want to know what you are capable of!
Lets say you decide to do the time trails, even though they are more of a pain in the ass. Pick a day of the week to use as your measuring stick, say…Saturdays. Go to the track and do the following: warmup properly (e.g. 2 mile jog, a couple light stretches and 4x100m grass strides.) Then run a mile on the track aiming for a 6:15 nice and even (93 second lap average). cool down a couple laps.
Then the next week, do the same warmup and do 8 x 1 lap with 60-90 seconds rest at the pace you want to try to hit the following week, (say…90 seconds).
If that goes well, the next week go back to the track and you can be confident trying to run 90 second laps (the pace you practiced the week before) for four straight laps for your next 1 mile time trial.
Continue alternating weeks: one week you do the 8×400 at a goal pace, and the next week you put four laps back to back in your one mile time trial.
If you find that you can’t hit 8×400 at a particular pace with only the 60-90 seconds rest, than you are bumping up against your natural plateau for the amount of training you have done, and further improvement will require more patience and training.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you could run in the 5:30-5:50 range within 4-6 weeks given your background and current training load. Let me know what you decide to do!