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How much does raw talent figure into the equation?

And on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), where would you rate your raw talent?

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Into what equation? Does raw talent help? Sure, I think certain people are predeposed to become better athletes then others. Different runners have different goals. Some folks are new, some are getting back into running after an absence, some are experienced. For some, a 5K race is an accomplishment.... others look to 26.2 as the ultimate accomplishment. I think the more agressive & long-term your running goals become, the less talent is required or necessary. it's going to require a lot of work and if you prepare properly... anything is possible.
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Into what equation?
The equation of where one tops out in terms of speed.
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Raw talent is what it's all about...hate to say it.
With the kids' races our running club has help put on, it becomes so obvious. When I look at how us adult guys race, where we place typically and how we rank given not too varying of training, and then compare that to our sons and where they finish in a kids race where they're not training at all and it's basically a race of raw talent.. you know what? The kids end up placing the same as their dads. What that tells me, is I have a range of potential given my genetics. Maximum training will get me to the top of that range and minimal training keeps me near the bottom. But in the grand scheme of things, my top is going to be well below someone else's bottom and conversly, my bottom is going to be well above someone else's top. It's a frustrating topic to dwell on, if you do.
As for raw talent, I'd say I'm somewhere around a 7. Even as a real little kid, I remember comments from other kids as we'd run around the yard, along the lines of "dang, you're fast".
I do think though, most people underestimate the top of their potential range. There's umpteen things that can hold someone down. And keeping educated and open-minded on their own "experiment of one" is where someone can unlock that next step toward their own peak.
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I agree with what jrjo said about talent (I am assuming that genetics is part of the talent). I was one of the faster distance guys in my HS and didn't train near as hard as some of the others but there were guys who did even less than I and would blow me away. (Height has an advantage, and I don't have that one. :( ) One the other hand being able to endure pain can over come somebody else s talent. Our #1 guy on CC could run under 16mins just by enduring extreme pain. (he would routinely throw-up while racing, and still get in under 16.) He was short and stocky not the make up of a talented distance runner by all means.

Edited to add I think my talent is a 7. (I misread the question initially. )

Jrjo, you mentioned the "experiment of one" I feel the same way. I want to know how far can I go. Where can I take this 31 year old body? That is my goal to achieve my maximum potential. Can it be done? I don't know but I will do my best to find out.
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There is no substitute for raw talent.

All the training in the world won't help overcome it...unless of course, your own raw talent is close enough...

I'd rate my Raw Talent at a 9. Not bragging. Just thinking. I'm probably a better natural runner than 9 out of 10 people out there.

I ran the 1600 in 5:47 in 7th grade. That had little to do with training, just natural ability.

I remember doing a timed 12 minute run around the football field in 7th grade. First day of FB practice, we did the run with all the players 7-12. Exactly 2 of the High School kids ran more laps than I did in 12 minutes. I weighed like 80 lbs, and was probably around 5'2".
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I'm probably around a 7 also. I was never very fast in any sprint events but could seem to run forever as a kid. My endurance was higher than most, my speed less than most. I believe my fastest mile time was in h.s. and was a 5:28. That's slow even by 1977 standards and I admit I didn't train very hard.

I agree with Jrjo and Coach on there not being a substitute for raw talent.
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Agreed on the raw talent. I ran a 5:09 mile once in college and with more training and dedication, i think i could have cracked 5 minutes. My potential is not likely much faster than that. When i wasn't hurt, i worked harder than most of the team (they went farther and faster, but i went harder....proved by repeats on the track) and i was never going to run as fast as the other guys.
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Not really sure what my raw talent is since I started running only 4 years ago and probably still have lots more potential than I really expect (plus the fact that I'm still young...). I'm ran a sub 20 5k and a 10k in the low 40s (ran my 1st 10k in 43 min) recently and that was only after I started to train more seriously 2 years back. I really don't know at the moment...:shrug:
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I would guess that you have tons of raw talent if you were able to rip off 7 minute miles in your first 10K race.
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There is no substitute for raw talent, without a doubt. I will never run a 4 minute mile. It's basically a fact. I may not even break 5 minutes in my lifetime, I don't know. I find it a little depressing that no matter what I do, I can't run past my limitations. It's just something you've got to accept. Sure, someone with less raw talent could train harder and outrun me. But if I train as much as them, they will never win (considering a relatively large talent gap). The whole idea for me is to reach my limitations. If I could ever honestly say I've reached my limits as a runner, I'll consider myself a success. I rate myself as an 8 on raw talent. Coach said 9 because he is a better runner than 9 out of 10 people. I say 8 because I'm no where near an elite runner, but I feel like I am in the top 1% as far as running talent goes.
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Raw talent plays a big role.

But...... someone with dedication and a work ethic can go a very long way. I think most people don't push themselves enough to see what they are truly capable of doing as far as racing goes.

But...... I know a lot of people that run more than me and train harder than me, but still can't break 20 for the 5k. So I know that I'm lucky to have gotten some raw talent and I can see where the absence of it can keep people from breaking certain barriers.

But..... I doubt most of us have reached our full running potentials. Meaning that we have more talent than we know about, we just need to work harder and not be afraid to see how good we can become. Or we haven't used up all available resources like finding a Coach or wearing Shelf's manties, etc.
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I'd say I'm almost an 8. I was pretty fast when I was young. As I got older, my best wasn't quite enough. In high school there was always someone better. I know people are surprised to find that I was not good enough to run track in college. Most women finishing around me had scholarships. So again, knocking at 8's door.....but they just aren't opening......(now that I'm older, they're peeking through the peephole though :) )
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I would hasten to say I have virtually no raw talent. My body shape goes against the preferred body type for running. (Very short, with very short legs, and latino curves )

It's the lack of raw talent or ability that gets me down. I know no matter how hard I work I will prolly never break a 10 minute mile. It's that lack of raw talent that my gym teachers never understood. They didn't understand that I had no concept about running and sports. I am not graceful nor am I athletic. I had to learn how to run.

Every time I run it seems I am forcing my body to do unnatural things.

But instead of raw talent I have persistence and stubborness.
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Raw talent about a 3
Heart and determination about a 10
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