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Post Collegiate Running

When we started LRC Racing in 2010, we did it for the sole reason of wanting to continue in the sport of running. It wasn't necessarily that we had goals to qualify for the Olympic Trials or to break a sub-4:00 mile, but it was because we truly loved what we had experienced because of running.

Fast forward ten years (yes, it has been almost ten years since we were formed), and we continue to face some of the same challenges we did back then. One of the biggest being facility use. We made a conscious decision early on that we would be a road racing team. Sure, we would have guys run trail races and others on the track, but our core operations would be focused on the road.

This decision wasn't made because of all the glory that goes with road races or because the money was good (trust me, the money is NEVER good), but because road races were the most available facility for our runners. The great thing about being a distance runner is that you have training options. You can be on the road anywhere you go.

And here-in lies the issue:  one major, distinguishing factor between distance runners and the other disciplines (throwers, sprinters, jumpers, etc.) is the availability of facilities in-which to train. If you are a non-distance runner, it is going to be MUCH more difficult to continue in the sport after college unless you are a professional level athlete. What people (some) don't understand is that it's not a lack of desire or a lack of club opportunities, but a practical lack of location to craft their skill.

And this affects distance runners too. While we can do workouts on the roads despite snow, ice and/or wind, in order to really generate speed (i.e., like in an 800 or mile), you need to be on a track and run regular intervals. Even something like curves is important to practice.

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I think a lot about potential solutions to this problem but have not come up with anything realistic so far. Unless one of you readers has raw ground and disposable income to build both a track and some type of building structure, chances are the status-quo will just continue. But it won't be for lack of opportunity on a club team or athlete desire; it will be because athletes struggle to find a facility to improve as an athlete.

But even if there were such a facility, finding competitions in the midwest has gotten harder over the years. While some meets will allow for unattached, post-graduate athletes, others have more stringent policies in place. Another topic for another day.

Logan

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