I read a great preview of the U.S. women’s 1500m Olympic Trials today and one fact jumped out at me- all the big stars are 27-31 and even older.
The two leading Americans are Jenny Simpson (29) and Shannon Rowbury (31). They are both ranked in the top 10 in the world are are medal threats at the Olympics. They also both ran their best times just last year, which is at least 10 years or more since they graduated from high school.
Now, both of them were big college stars, and in fact Jenny Simpson was a high school star, but my main point is that here they are, running their best times all these years after high school and university.
As I have written before, this is a perfect example of taking the big picture approach. Each year they get a little stronger and a little faster, and are able to train just a bit harder than the year before. As good as they were in university, they are now much better.
The same example exists in Canada. Our best women runner is Melissa Bishop, who is 27 or 28 this year. Melissa was a very good university runner from Windsor, but no where near world class. She kept running because she loves it, and was following her dream, and last year ended up 2nd in the world at 800m!
So the lesson is clear- there is no urgency to being your very best. Take the long road, enjoy training and racing and see what happens!