The following is an article I have shared with my Run S.M.A.R.T. Project runners in the past and I’d like to share with you all:
I think it provides some very interesting insight into the question that we all face: “how good a runner can I be?”
The article is by a U Penn psychologist exploring the characteristics of what makes some people more successful than others with the same talent. Her answer is simply perseverance, or what she calls “grit”. She summarizes that simply sticking with something, is just as important as natural talent at that something.
“In a study of the childhoods and training of world-class pianists, neurologists, swimmers, chess players, mathematicians, and sculptors, Ben Bloom noted that “only a few of [the 120 talented individuals in the sample] were regarded as prodigies by teachers, parents, or experts.” (p. 533). Rather, accomplished individuals worked day after day, for at least ten or fifteen years, to reach the top of their fields.”
We see it often with elite runner’s in this country, how many “talents” come, go, come, go, and when you look at our top finishers at the Olympic Trials, or our Olympians, you see that “still doing it” is their talent! The same goes for our top ranked master’s runner’s in both long distance running and triathlon, the key is consistency. STICK WITH IT!
Run S.M.A.R.T. Project Coach