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Would you like to lead the life of a professional runner? (Read 451 times)

aponi


never runs the tangents

    I think the danger in being a professional athlete of any kind is that you are one injury or even one birthday away from the end. Then what do you do? There was a 30 for 30 on ESPN about professional athletes. I found it rather astonishing that something crazy like 2/3 of NLF players are flat broke 3 years after the leave football.

    when in doubt, run

      I think the danger in being a professional athlete of any kind is that you are one injury or even one birthday away from the end. Then what do you do? There was a 30 for 30 on ESPN about professional athletes. I found it rather astonishing that something crazy like 2/3 of NLF players are flat broke 3 years after the leave football.

       

         They spend their whole lives focused on only one thing:  Football.  Meanwhile, most don't think about how short a career in any professional sports lasts.  (Most professionals burn out after an average of, what, about 10-12 years?)   And these guys don't get educated about how to manage the money they make! (Maybe the money comes too easy, and also at too young an age for them).  Kids who are in their young 20's getting 6 and 7-figure signing bonuses?  I'm not surprised that most of them burn through that money pretty quick.  Most of their standards of living (and standards of partying) are pretty high. -

       

      -  It isn't hard to burn through a couple million when you are throwing away several thousand dollars a week... :-)

      .

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

        NM.

         

        Running is hard.

        Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
        We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
        zonykel


          I read on running times about Meb Keflezghi's routine. Talk about a full time job.

           

          And if most of these professionals are on the fringe, just making enough money to live on, then you're doing it for reasons other than money.

           

          look at minor league baseball ... They barely make money. I was talking to a friend about them. They need so much financial support from their families, that it's almost like little league for grown ups.

           

          if you're young enough, it may be worth doing. If you have something else to do after your short career is over, then that's preferable.

           

          personally, I don't think I'd have the discipline for that type of lifestyle. And as others mentioned, the added stress of having to perform to make money, reduces the fun aspect.

          FSBD


            If I was going to be a professional athlete I would want to be a back up quarterback.

            Jim Sorgi is my hero.

             

            But seriously being a professional runner seems like a hard and lonely life.  Running is my escape and I am happy with that.  Doing it for pay kind of takes the joy out of it.


            Obligatory runner.

              Thanks for the insight, spaniel! I can totally imagine how tough it is to power through a workout when you're in a "I don't really care, I want a vacation" phase - especially if you're not with a team and just running for yourself.

               

              It would stress me out to try and eliminate all forms of stress. I'd be constantly worried that I wasn't recovering effectively.

               

              The "life is planned around runs" thing must be why so many runners marry other runners.

               

              Sorry for my totally disjointed thoughts. I need to go to bed. Really interesting to read everyone's point of view.

               

               

              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).


              Obligatory runner.

                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.

                 

                 

                Oh you're totally right, Nobby. Doing something because it isn't something else is the wrong motivation. I know this from experience. Was just mulling over why, exactly, such a difficult lifestyle looks so appealing to me and that was my highly original conclusion: the grass is always greener.

                 

                Still, if I were in my early 20's, talented and with a successful college running career behind me (in other words, a completely different person....), I would go for it.

                 

                (Modified to remove excessive instances of the word totally.)

                  Oh, hell no.  Too little money. Too much work. It would take the fun out of running.

                   

                  And, to the OP, you only worked 40 hours per week?  Ah, you were lucky.

                   

                   

                  MTA: typo


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                     

                    The "life is planned around runs" thing must be why so many runners marry other runners.

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    IMHO that would make things harder.  Then TWO people need to find time to run.  Tough, especially once kids arrive in the picture.

                    "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

                     

                    scappodaqui


                    rather be sprinting

                      I think that I might enjoy it if I were a less cerebral person.  My artistic pursuits and career are just too important to me.  I also don't have a lot of talent (& threw away a high school and college athletic career due to an ED).  That said, I kind of already do a lot of working out and run with a team.  We don't really get money, but we get... free... shoes? if we win races... haha.

                       

                      What I DO think I would LOVE is coaching.  I'm already considering getting a second career as a trainer; my job right now is tutoring, but that leaves my mornings free, and I really like to work with athletes.

                      PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

                      Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

                      Julia1971


                        I didn't hear most of what he was talking about because I was mesmerized by all the gear.  That black Brooks shirt with the yellow on the back - want!  Free gear?  Yeah, sign me up for the professional runner life.

                        The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb

                          I think I would have enjoyed the life of professional athlete - I'm way to old to worry about it now tho'. I suspect I would have not been able to perform at the highest level as a distance runner, whatever kind of training I did. I might have made a decent decathlete - although without have tried I'll never know.

                           

                          And as a practical consideration it's not really a whole life career, Haile has run out of steam in his late 30s - although of course he's still better than most professional runners - just not better than the best Ethiopians and Kenyans.


                          Obligatory runner.

                             

                            IMHO that would make things harder.  Then TWO people need to find time to run.  Tough, especially once kids arrive in the picture.

                             

                            True. I was just thinking that it might be difficult to meet and date non-runners. Another runner might be more likely to understand and support the decision to forego social life for training?


                            Obligatory runner.

                              Oh, hell no.  Too little money. Too much work. It would take the fun out of running.

                               

                              And, to the OP, you only worked 40 hours per week?  Ah, you were lucky.

                               

                               

                              MTA: typo

                               

                              Oh, definitely. I hope I didn't come across as ungrateful. On paper it was a good job. I know I was lucky to be employed and paid and didn't have to work ridiculous hours, but I've definitely had jobs that had all that plus a much, much lower asshat quotient.

                               

                              As for "too little money, takes the fun out of running" - yeah, I hear that. Actually I was shocked to read recently that pro runners' contracts don't come with health insurance. Yikes!  But I guess people who decide to do this - as with anyone with a huge talent and a lot of drive, musicians come to mind here - just have a different mindset about that stuff. I know someone who made a conscious decision to be a recorder major at university (as in the rather obscure wind instrument) which involves practicing alone 8 hours a day and a lot of pressure to be among the best of the best - and you might ask yourself, for what? Is there a lucrative career out there for professional recorder players? No. But she loves it, she's good at it, and she can't imagine doing anything else.

                               

                              I guess the musician parallel isn't exact, since professional musicians can be musicians for life and runners know going into it that their running career will likely be limited by  age.

                               

                              And now I've rambled enough. Off to brunch.


                              Obligatory runner.

                                I didn't hear most of what he was talking about because I was mesmerized by all the gear.  That black Brooks shirt with the yellow on the back - want!  Free gear?  Yeah, sign me up for the professional runner life.

                                 

                                lol! Same here. Or at least a job in a running store, where I can murmur sweet nothings to it all day long...because that wouldn't scare the customers away, right?

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