Jeff Gaudette takes a trip down memory lane to recall some of his training mistakes during his college running days — and outlines how to correct them.
A few weeks ago I was invited back to college to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our cross-country team’s first ever Ivy League Championship. It was awesome to reconnect with old teammates and reminisce about our college training days.
At one point we all gathered around our former coach and recollected our memorable performances and reflected on our stupid training mistakes. Interestingly, not one of us said I wish we had trained harder. But we all wished we had trained smarter.
Then my coach said something interesting that really hit home. “I tried to tell you guys and you just wouldn’t listen. I’d already made these same mistakes and tried to make sure you didn’t repeat them.” For context, my college coach was John Gregorek, a two-time Olympian and 3:51 miler.
At first I thought not taking advantage of my coach’s wisdom was a result of still being in my college rebellious years. But as I reflected further, I realized it’s the same issue I often encounter with the runners I coach.
I now find myself in John’s shoes, trying to tell the athletes I coach, “I’ve been there and I’ve done that.” Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t.
In hopes that you can learn from some of my experiences, here’s what I would change if I could go back in time and avoid some of my biggest training mistakes.
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