Running, unlike many other sports, may be enjoyed for a long time. Nick Willis, a two-time Olympic winner, is a great example of how a healthy mental and physical perspective may lead to a long and fruitful life.
Perseverance, a good dose of luck, and the right amount of training and rest are all necessary for a long athletic career. Finding the sweet spot between pushing yourself to your limits and backing off after you’ve gone as far as you can goes a long way toward ensuring a long and fruitful running career.
Longevity is epitomized by this week’s radio guest, who has proven her mettle in a field that tends to reward younger, stronger athletes.
Nick Willis won the silver medal in the 1500-meter run at the 2008 Olympics and the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics. With a personal record of 3:29, Nick is now among the all-time greats in the 1500-meter race.
Nick’s unique record as the most consistent miler in history adds to the Olympic gold he already has. He has maintained a mile time of under 4 minutes for the past 19 years. He plans to run a sub-4-mile race at the New York Armory on December 31 for the twentieth time in his career. This black-tie affair is being hosted by TrackSmith, and it will feature both horse racing and traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations, as well as lots of champagne.
The Career of Nick Willis and the Definition of Athletic Endurance
Nick has had a lot of injury setbacks over the years, but he has never lost his optimistic view or his desire to get well again. Taking time off because of an injury is never ideal, but it may have helped Nick avoid burnout and keep him in the game for longer than he otherwise would have.
Nick’s sense of humor and outlook on running are both in good shape. He says his training partners are responsible for his sanity and drive. For him, casual basketball games are a weekly highlight that provide a welcome distraction from his otherwise rigorous training schedule.
Some of the things we talk about in the podcast that have helped Nick succeed are:
- Why your circle of friends matters
- Making a concerted effort at critical times
- through use of non-traditional cross-training
- Knowing your physical limitations and developing an appreciation for your body is an important life skill, especially as you age.
- patience and reliability at the crunch moments
- Relying mostly on one’s own physical power in the process of recovery
Check out my chat with Nick and get pumped to support him on December 31st!