Yes, winning the gold medal was undoubtedly the biggest day of my career - mostly because I won the way I had prepared to run it. It was a totally satisfying experience.
The potential elite runner must realize that hard means hard, easy means easy and they must patiently seek out what combinations work for them. They have to learn to be persistent and patient with their training and racing.
For the novice runner, I'd say to give yourself at least 2 months of consistently running several times a week at a conversational pace before deciding whether you want to stick with it. Consistency is the most important aspect of training at this point.
I started in law school in '71 and graduated in '74. So I was training for the Olympics, running or averaging around 20 miles a day and going to law school full time.
You have to know your body. It's part of the beauty of the training process, and once you've determined how much your body and mind can take, you can then begin to reach your potential.
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