Consistency is Key
Earlier this week, the entire world watched Meb Keflezighi win the Boston Marathon against difficult odds. At almost 39 years old, Meb had only the 15th fastest personal best marathon going into the race. He was considered past his prime. A long shot in a deep Boston field.
In hindsight, Meb’s age and experience appear to be assets in his quest to become the first American winner at Boston since 1985. Take a look at his USA Track & Field bio. Prior to Monday, Meb’s personal best was “only” 2:09:08, set at the 2012 US Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston. However, he ran under 2:10 for the first time back in 2004, with many, many high quality performances in between (including his silver medal in Athens and a victory in the 2009 New York City Marathon). Meb had essentially been training toward this Boston victory for a decade.
It’s also important to note that Bob Larsen has been Meb’s coach since he entered UCLA in 1994. 20 years of the same coach developing an understanding of the athlete. Knowing what works and what doesn’t. Consistent training at a high level year after year.
It can sometimes be difficult to watch the elites at the front of the field and draw a connection to runners in the middle of the pack. But we can all learn something from Meb’s career. Each workout, each training cycle and each year builds upon the last one.
Most of us will never win a marathon, or a race of any distance. But we can all seek out good advice and approach our training in a consistent, thoughtful manner. To perform at your best, take the long view. Learn along the way. Stick with the things that work, while making adjustments to the things that don’t. Relentless forward progress.