There are three expected outcomes I envision for my runners going through our program.
They become Olympic Champions
They continue running through high school, college, and late into life.
They check out the sport of running, see that it is not for them, and retire after a season or two.
Our program is designed to allow kids to naturally fall into one of these three possibilities. It may seem obvious that this would be the normal course for all athletes, but that is more than often not the case.
There are many young runners who love the sport early on, but due to poor training, unnecessary stress and pressure put on by parents and coaches, they either mentally burnout or they physically burnout way before they reached their true potential. Basically the sport they once loved became a burden. Today’s youth champions often end up fading in performance once they get to high school or drop out all together due to injury or decreased desire. We are left to wonder how many of these kids, had they been trained and motivated correctly, would have ended up on the world stage of running.
It is our training belief to layer adaptations naturally upon the runner throughout the many seasons they are with us. We do so in a way which keeps runners healthy, injury free, and happy. With the amazing aerobic foundation they develop with us, they will be able to build greatly upon that in high school when their bodies begin to fully mature.
Hopefully with like minded coaching methods in their high school program, they will continue to develop even more endurance, speed, and mental fortitude (grit). By the time they are delivered to college, they should be ready to reach their prime.
Note: I am well aware that my opinion is more philosophical and anecdotal than based off scientific research.
Olympic Champions require three main ingredients: proper training, great desire, and genetics. Lacking one of the ingredients may allow you to compete successfully at the college level, but it will be quite difficult to advance to the Olympic level. Our program can help with the proper training and do what we can with desire (grit), but we won’t be able to help you out in genetics. I believe up to 5% of our runners will have this potential, but ultimately reality will give us less than a 1% chance. There are so many variables that need to align for these runners to eventually stand on the podium. Many years, a handful of different coaches, and the right place and time will all be needed. Saying that, we will train and put in place each runner’s mind, the thought of racing at the highest level.
Runner for Life requires the same ingredients as above, but one can do without the proper genetics. The good news is, that the TRUE RUNNER doesn’t define success in the amount of wins they achieve, but rather the places they explore, the friends they make, and the health they maintain. Naturally there will be periods of time when the amount of running one does decreases and increases. Depending on the period of your life (just having kids, landing a new job), runners may even take a complete break, but in their heart, they are still a runner and it won’t be too long before they are out there claiming miles again. I’m predicting that 74% will end up here and that is great.
Runner for a Season. This one is tricky. I don’t ever want to label a kid a “non runner.” Often a kid that doesn’t “seem” like a runner will bloom later on and prove everybody wrong. Saying that, there are those kids that do come out, may have initial talent or not, but really do not enjoy it. Maybe their parents were forcing them or maybe they were simply trying new things, but at the end of the day, they don’t want anything to do with the sport. I find that this is where 25% will end up no matter how much fun our program is, no matter how many friends they make, or how much talent they have. Though I believe in the underlying belief that we are “Born to Run", not all of us are born to WANT to run.
Our program is relatively new and I have not yet seen the full life cycle of my young runners, but based off how they are performing, bonding, and acting, most will fall in one of the top two categories above.
Time will tell.
Eat Well, Train Well, Rest Well