Chances are, when you think of a pro runner, you think of a young excelling athlete who has been provided the opportunity to get paid for doing what they love.
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In reality though, many pros have a lot more in common with us recreational runners than we may think.
Breaking down the common challenges with running, we can look at:
- Training consistency – how to keep up with running through various weather condition, life stressors, and irregular schedules due to work, travel, or other factors
- Injury prevention – the ability to prevent or rehab injuries, as all runners are faced with them at one point or another
- Support structure – access to knowledgable coaches, helpful therapists, and an encouraging community of runners
- Mental game – staying dedicated, pushing through the hard times, and rising above the low points
- Finding value – whether it’s joy, fitness, or another goal, running must be additive to our lives
Through numerous conversations with pro runners such as Madeline Strandemo, Molly Huddle, Noah Droddy, and Emma Coburn, you’ll see that the challenges are universal. Professional runners don’t have flawlessly executed training plans, gourmet meals with calibrated nutrition, and an endless selection of tools for recovery. They don’t live in a running-focused chamber.
Neither do we. We all seek to strike the ever-changing balance of life.
The pandemic has brought the lives of recreational and professional runners to an even closer resemblance. With the lack of race to rank runners quantitatively, each one is faced with an identify crisis of sorts.
Today’s guest, Dana Giordano, gives us a raw perspective on this, as you can hear in the clip:
Dana Giordano’s Indirect Path to Pro
Dana Giordano is a middle-distance pro runner for Adidas and the Boston Athletics Association (B.A.A.). Prior to becoming a pro, she worked at Reebok for several years as a Product Manager, while keeping up with running as a lifestyle sport. She was also an All-American at Dartmouth University and reflects often on those years of running.
Dana has had an interesting year as a pro, given the global pandemic that we are all facing. Her impact goes well beyond her performance, as the host of the More than Running with Dana Giordano podcast, where she features stories of women in the sport.
Dana left her job in pursuit of her Olympic dreams and shares the many challenges that she has overcome and continues to deal with. In this episode, we talk about:
- Dana’s journey from collegiate runner to pro
- The life on an underdog elite runner
- Training through cold, snowy winters
- Mental skills and mindset to overcome setbacks
- How to keep running fun
Dana’s overall humble perspectives and down-to-earth approach makes this conversation very accessible to all runners. I hope you’ll come away with a new look at the life of a pro runner and how you can achieve more in this sport as well.
Links & Resources from the Show:
- Dana’s Instagram and Twitter
- Check out Dana’s podcast
- Children’s book: Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
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