1234

Would you like to lead the life of a professional runner? (Read 452 times)

    I'm curious how other people feel about this! Obviously we love to run, or we wouldn't be here, but can you imagine being a professional runner? I just watched (thanks to the blog Logic of Long Distance aka the illustrious Jeff) this video about Ryan Vail, a pro runner in Oregon -  http://vimeo.com/55762728  - and it sparked my imagination. Would I like that kind of life, if I had that kind of talent? The video, and also every pro runner's blog I've ever read, always emphasize what a grind it is. Work out in the a.m., spend a few hours recovering, work out again in the p.m., early to bed, repeat every day. It's financially unrewarding, even precarious, for most. Everything you do points toward one goal several years down the road: the next Olympics or World Championship. A lot can happen between now and then to wreck all your hard work.

     

    Judging by the video, Vail leads an especially lonely version of this life, as he apparently trains alone; but he does work in a running store which provides some human interaction. Certainly better than going home to recover and rest all by yourself after a lonely morning run before training alone again in the p.m.

     

    Maybe I'm romanticizing/idealizing this, but to me, it sounds like kind of a nice life. Autonomy, a supportive coach or team standing behind you, lots of goals big and small. Maybe it's just because my work life consists (or consisted - I'm currently home with my little son) of 40 weekly hours of financially unrewarding rend-your-garments boredom with people who would throw their grandma under a bus if they thought the boss would like it, or maybe it's because the recovery part between workouts sounds like it's right up my alley (sofa sitting is one of my main talents)...but it just sounds better than sitting at a desk from 9-5.

     

    tl;dr. What do you think?

    TheHurdler


    Simi Valley HS Hurdler

      Me personally, I would totally jump on the ability to become a professional athlete (for me a hurdler) if and only if I was done with college and had my (masters in what i want) degree. If i go to a school through scholarship then stop competing for them due to becoming professional, then there go my scholarship and then I have to pay for college and living off of the small pay of the professional runner. Even with the risks of it all falling apart in between the big races that be fine with me, even with the precarious nature of the hurdle races. For me its not just about winning at that big meet or triumphing over our rival school, its about the struggle to get to where your at, to feel the best youve ever felt than look back and see all that hard work you put in. The extra work you put in when no one was looking that made you get to where you are today. And being paid to do what I love most isn't bad either. But like i said, only if I'm done with college.

       

      TL;DR Yes I would love to be a professional hurdler

      Prs:             Freshman         Sophomore           (Goals)

      110mHH:   15.97                 15.71  (14.4)

      300miH:     46.97                 46.18  (42)

      HJ:               5'2                      5'4       (5'8)

      5k XC:         20:26                  19:46

        I don't know... I can't relate since I never had that kind of talent for it to be an option.

         

        I think, if you have that kind of talent, you should use the talents you've been blessed with. I think that's true for everyone. Use the talents in some way.

        Nakedbabytoes


        levitation specialist

          Nope. Me and pressure do not get along. Knowing my income depended on my next performance is too stressful. I like running, but I don't love it enough to keep doing it as a job with pressure to perform. As it is, I put enough pressure on myself that I no longer run monthly races, I get all sick to my stomache and can't sleep because I worry I won't best my last time or make a goal I set for myself.

          Better I Leave


            Professional runner? Nope. Maybe a fitness trainer. I really enjoy the aspect(s) of complete fitness that incorporates exercise (both cardio and reisistance), diet, and mental "fitness" as well.


            sugnim

              I don't think so.  I prefer to run for enjoyment, not because I have to.


              Interval Junkie --Nobby

                I would take a stab at it if there was a career path after my prime.  Like most athletics (except golf) your money making years are pretty limited.  And after your running career ends, there aren't a lot quals on your resume.  So you'd be stuck in pretty dead-end jobs.  At least that's my impression.

                 

                But say I had some talent.  And say there was a short career lifespan for a 40yo runner.  Or turn back the clock and let me run as a 20 something.  As long as I could pick up my current career (Engineer) at a 30% set-back in pay, I'd be cool with it.

                 

                I could deal with the financial instability/poverty as an athlete.  Just not in retirement (post 35).

                2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.

                DoppleBock


                  You could always work the Vegas circuit for a 2nd career ...

                   

                  I would take a stab at it if there was a career path after my prime.  Like most athletics (except golf) your money making years are pretty limited.  And after your running career ends, there aren't a lot quals on your resume.  So you'd be stuck in pretty dead-end jobs.  At least that's my impression.

                   

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   


                  Interval Junkie --Nobby

                    You could always work the Vegas circuit for a 2nd career ... 

                     

                    That career too, is rather limited in duration.

                    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                    Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.

                      F yes!  If I had had the talent and competitiveness of a pro athlete I'd like to have at least experienced that life.

                        --  Seems like as many negatives as there are positives.  The idea of being able to run really, really friggin' fast?  Sounds great!  But the training every single day, and the competitiveness you would need to go through every single race, sounds like you would never be able to relax.

                         

                        --  Sounds like the same reasons I would not want to win the lottery.  I mean I know how to manage money very well... But I am afraid that if I won millions, it would ruin my teenage kids!  They'd feel entitled and as if they never had to work again, and that is a bad thing.

                         

                        That last remark has nothing to do with running, I know.  But in a similar way, as great as it would to be one of the world's fastest runners, that brings a huge burdern along with it.   Training every day, twice a day, and every race a painful push all the way through to beat that guy on your heels, never able to relax?  I'll pass.  I am quite Happy where I am in running right now.  Well, I just want to get a little bit faster. :-)

                        .

                        The Plan (big parts)→  /// April '14:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov '14:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  April 2015:  VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (Goal: >80.1+Miles)  ∞


                        Interval Junkie --Nobby

                          --  Sounds like the same reasons I would not want to win the lottery.  I mean I know how to manage money very well... But I am afraid that if I won millions, it would ruin my teenage kids!  They'd feel entitled and as if they never had to work again, and that is a bad thing.

                           

                          So, you don't want to be a world class runner because your kids will grow up fat?

                           

                          Wink

                          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                          Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.

                          mab411


                          Proboscis Colossus

                            I'm in with the "nope, too much pressure" crowd.  Sure, I like running and racing, and if I were ever fast enough, it would be fun to be a "contender" in the races I participate in.  But having my income depend on it?  No thank you.

                             

                            I wouldn't mind having a job of some kind in the industry, though.  But then again, believe it or not, I think I'd miss music and teaching.

                            "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


                            Feeling the growl again

                              I basically did it for four years, with the exception of the financial piece, while I was in grad school.  I say not the financial piece because I did not depend on it for my livelihood.  I won a bit of prize money here and there but that did not even cover my shoes.

                               

                              I found it a lot like farming...a constant grind with no such thing as vacation.  Life was planned around runs.  "Can't stay out late tonight, I have to be rested for that big tempo run tomorrow."  Making sure I got 9-10 hours of sleep every night, trying to eliminate all forms of stress to improve recovery.

                               

                              Not to say it did not have positives.  A lot of the time I was in grad school the grad school thing was not a positive experience, and the running gave me something positive to focus on for awhile.  But when you get those days (or weeks) when you'd really rather just take a break or do something else and you have to go get that run in no matter what, it can be tough.  And you have to put yourself in there 100% and not question it because you are just wasting your time if you are not in 100%.

                               

                              It was easy when things were going good and you could see yourself climbing the mountain.  But when a training cycle or even a full year went badly yet you kept flogging yourself it could get hard and you'd have to keep reminding yourself why you were so invested in it.

                               

                              I think it worked out the best it could for me, having the opportunity to do this during the 6 years I was in grad school.  I certainly would not have stepped away from career opportunities to pursue it, the opportunity cost simply would have been too high.  In the US you really have to be willing to take the hit.  That's why we've seen some pros with great career opportunities quit more or less in their prime, before those chances passed them by (Dan Lincoln, Bob Kempainen are examples).

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               

                                If you watch the last part of the movie, Miracles, Coach Herb said something like "...all these young people giving so much ALL FOR UNKNOWN..."  There's no guarantee in life--in ANYTHING.  If you stop and ask, "well, would I get better off by doing this?" it's probably not for you.  Sure, most of us ask that question when we change a job, etc.  But how many of you actually ask questions when you get married; "Are his/her parents rich?  What would he/she look like when she's 60?  Can I live in a top level penthouse if I marry with him/her?"  Well, I'm sure some do.  If you seek guarantee, you won't go very far--I can guarantee that!

                                 

                                By the way, in my opinion, "it looks better than sitting in the office from 9-5" is not, and should not, be a reason to be a professional athlete.  You'd really need to find some other career.

                                 

                                I'm curious how other people feel about this! Obviously we love to run, or we wouldn't be here, but can you imagine being a professional runner? I just watched (thanks to the blog Logic of Long Distance aka the illustrious Jeff) this video about Ryan Vail, a pro runner in Oregon -  http://vimeo.com/55762728  - and it sparked my imagination. Would I like that kind of life, if I had that kind of talent? The video, and also every pro runner's blog I've ever read, always emphasize what a grind it is. Work out in the a.m., spend a few hours recovering, work out again in the p.m., early to bed, repeat every day. It's financially unrewarding, even precarious, for most. Everything you do points toward one goal several years down the road: the next Olympics or World Championship. A lot can happen between now and then to wreck all your hard work.

                                 

                                Judging by the video, Vail leads an especially lonely version of this life, as he apparently trains alone; but he does work in a running store which provides some human interaction. Certainly better than going home to recover and rest all by yourself after a lonely morning run before training alone again in the p.m.

                                 

                                Maybe I'm romanticizing/idealizing this, but to me, it sounds like kind of a nice life. Autonomy, a supportive coach or team standing behind you, lots of goals big and small. Maybe it's just because my work life consists (or consisted - I'm currently home with my little son) of 40 weekly hours of financially unrewarding rend-your-garments boredom with people who would throw their grandma under a bus if they thought the boss would like it, or maybe it's because the recovery part between workouts sounds like it's right up my alley (sofa sitting is one of my main talents)...but it just sounds better than sitting at a desk from 9-5.

                                 

                                tl;dr. What do you think?

                                1234