I am in awe of amazing athletes! Their ability, commitment, drive and accomplishments are an inspiration. I put them up on a pedestal when the reality is elite athletes are human. Seriously, it’s true. More than that, they’re amazingly kind, motivating and supportive.
Meet Tina, elite runner and the voice behind Fuel Your Future with Tina. You’ve probably read her blog (if you haven’t you should) and if you spend any time on Twitter I’m sure you recognize her name. Tina was born and raised in England. Last summer, she finished third in the 10k at the Great Britain Olympic Trials and has PRs of 16:08 (5k) and 33:24 (10k), 2:49:09 marathon and she runs for the Saucony Hurricanes team.
What is an elite athlete? An elite athlete (runner) starts at the front of races right on the starting line. An elite athlete considers 5:35 conservative. That’s pace not hours!
Hi! I am Tina! I am a British runner/coach/MBA student living in Philadelphia. Thanks Jill for the opportunity to do this post on your wonderful site! I hope one day my blog can be as inspirational and uplifting as Jill’s, but for now, I am going to stand back and admire her from afar!
Jill asked me to write a post about being an elite athlete, and you can read more about the perks of being an elite athlete in my race recap for the Cherry Blossom 10 mile, however, I thought I would write a post to show you that although I am very blessed with the opportunity, it is not all sunshine and rainbows.
11 reasons being an elite athlete is not as glamorous as it sounds
- You need to stay hydrated, but that constant hydration means having to get up to pee in the night….multiple times, and ducking behind more bushes to pee than a dog who marks his territory…..more peeing in the bushes, leads to more opportunities to be seen!
- Massages are relaxing; sports massages/graston technique work is agonizingly painful and leaves you looking like you have been attacked with a baseball bat. Foam rolling and ice baths are also critical to recovery, and become part of your everyday routine.
- You have no social life. Staying up past 10 is an achievement that leaves you feeling like you are a total rebel. Struggle to sleep like I do? Too bad, you had better stay in bed tossing and turning anyway.
- You are hungry all.the.time! Demolished a full stack of pancakes two hours ago? Yep, it’s about time for your stomach to start rumbling again. Makes for a very expensive grocery bill, especially as you need to make sure each meal has the correct nutrition to refuel your body.
- As your training is tailored towards a specific goal, you are only able to race a few times a year…..so you had better make it count! At the same time, you are under pressure to perform, if you do not represent your company to the level they expect, you may be dropped!
- You need to get as much rest as possible, but there is only so much daytime TV/Pinterest surfing that can be done before you start to lose your mind! Not to mention the temptation to eat constantly when you are looking for something to do.
- You are constantly “dancing over the injury line”, tempting fate as you walk the line of pushing your body hard enough to get better, without going too far to where your body breaks down. Paranoia for this takes over your mind as it runs wild if you feel a slight pain in any area of your body. Twinge in your back? It must be broken. Tight Achilles? What if it snaps? At the same time it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to stop, even when you know in your gut something is wrong.
- Workouts are not just hard; they are pushing yourself so hard that you fall to your hands and knees (or throw up) hard. Not a comfortable feeling and no amount of recovery products will ease the soreness in your legs for the next few hours. Not to mention that you have to eat a full meal within 45 minutes of workout, no matter how nauseous you feel.
- If you ever find yourself hanging off the edge of a cliff, you may as well accept you are going to fall to your death, as there is no way those weedy arms are going help you lift your body up!
- Your eating is dictated by what workout you have that day. I have eaten a bagel and banana at least twice a week every week for the last eight years. Thinking about trying something new the night before a tough workout? Think again! Friends baked fresh cookies but you still have another run to do that day? Sorry, too bad. Meals need to be planned to ensure you have enough energy to run well, but not too close to where your stomach is upset and could interfere with your workout.
- You see the sunrise more times than a rooster. Morning races mean you need to wake up at least four hours before the race to make sure your body is ready to go. That means wake up, eat, and then try not to pace around the room for the next two hours. Or, if you are more of a track elite, nighttime races mean sitting in the hotel room for an entire day with the nervous energy causing you to bounce off the walls, but wait, you need to lie down in bed to save your energy…..but no matter what you have to make sure you do not fall asleep!
Follow Tina and find our more about her running and, did I mention, she creates wonderful recipes too?
- Blog– http://www.tinamuir.com
- Instagram –tinamuir88
- Email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you put specific people up on a pedestal? If you could chat with an elite runner what would you ask them?
Let’s stay in touch!
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