Coach Mike Mead

June 2014

Are you Committed to Your Training?

Luke 6:40
A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

How serious a runner are you? Have you ever thought about your true commitment? Has a coach or running mate ever posed that question to you?

As a coach, I have questioned the dedication, discipline, and commitment of some of my runners throughout the years who did not seem fully engaged in their training, particularly during the off-season. Whether it was a lack of self-motivation or the failure to understand the importance of key aspects of training and development, these athletes appeared to have held themselves back from achieving optimum success.

If YOU want to get the most out of running -- or anything in life, for that matter -- you need to consider your commitment. Are you really training or just going through the motions?

I recently attended a conference that was not sports-related. The main speaker made the point about people “trying to do something” versus “training to do something.” He asked the approximately 400 people in the room who could go out at that moment without any preparation and run a marathon without having to walk. Only two of us raised our hands.

The speaker’s point was there are many things, such as running, that requires more than just trying. He stated that training to do something requires an individual to arrange their life to do activities that enable them to do what cannot be accomplished by direct effort. He added that we tend to over-estimate “trying to do something” and under-estimate “training to do something.”

For example, most able-bodied people can walk a mile. When it comes to running a mile at a specific time – say five minutes – it is going to take committed, able-bodied people to make an effort of several weeks or months to prepare (train) to run said mile.

You have probably met someone – I have met a few over the years – who did not understand what it took to run, say, a 10K. They were likely naïve to the demands of what it took to train in order to run a successful 10K. However, success is in the eye of the beholder!

For a runner in a high school, college, or club program, it is important that runner and coach share the same goals and objectives in training to achieve the desired results. If you are a runner on your own, then you need to be a realist when it comes to your training. That is, take a conservative approach to training to minimize injuries.

If you want to become a serious runner, my best advice is to have regular conversations with your coach and mutually develop a training schedule designed for you. It will also mean you will need to prioritize your training to optimize the goals that you and your coach establish.

It is important to be honest with your coach and to be “on the same page” when it comes to training and goals. Otherwise, you will develop trust issues between you and your coach that could limit your development. It will not help if you think you can run a certain event and time, but you are not putting in the work, or your coach writes workouts for certain efforts and you are not capable at that time to do them.

The bottom-line, you must be committed to the necessary training you and your coach agree on. If you are unable to be serious with your training, there is one easy alternative – low-mileage and low expectations!

1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.