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What Does Running Look Like in 2020? Insights with Carrie Tollefson

What Does Running Look Like in 2020? Insights with Carrie Tollefson

Thirteen-time Minnesota State Champion, professional runner and olympian, Carrie Tollefson, shares her insights on running and training in 2020. 

How do you deal with disappointment and change?

Well that’s hard, but I do think that’s part of the sport. That’s what makes us hungry and wanna get back out there. Running for me, and I think for a lot of people, can be really repetitive and sometimes you don’t quite have that fire that you need to be really good or to see your results happen.

I used to look at time away from the sport, injury, illness or whatever it may be, as sort of a time to regroup and get my goals back on check and make sure my body is where it needed to be. I just find that fire that really makes me want be good at something and maybe even great at something.

I know that’s super hard and easier said than done, but this is the time I think for all of us, whether you’re a high school runner or a college runner, professional, or just a recreational runner like I am right now, it’s a good time to reevaluate and reinvent yourself. I think that’s a huge thing that we all can do and just figure out why we do this sport.

Can you talk to the idea of goal setting and feeling accomplished on your own without the structure of a cross country season or scheduled races?

I do think that if you can find that community. Whether you’re meeting with one or two other runners, if you have your tight knit group, or if you are going to the track and putting your earphones in. Just getting creative and figuring out how to encourage each other. 

Maybe it’s just sending a text, “I’m heading out for my run, I’ll text you when I get back”. Just those little things are important and holds you accountable and that’s the big thing. 

Who is going to hold you accountable? Is it you? Are you strong enough to do it? Do you need your coach? Your family? Do you have your best friend? Your training partners? Just find somebody who will hold you accountable, and usually you’ll need more than just a few.

If you were speaking directly to an audience of runners, what would you say?

I just think you have to keep your eye on the prize, I know that’s a little cliche but for me, whenever I was competing, I would put posters up. My husband made me this really cool board with the American records, like, you know whatever you need to do to get out the door.

Sometimes I sleep in my running clothes because I know I have a really early morning run and I know early morning runs for high schoolers are tough but, you know, just figure out what it is that will get you out the door and I guarantee you once you’re out there, you’re going to start dreaming, you’re going to believe in this goals, you’re going to believe in yourself, and when you walk back in the door you’re going to feel like a better version of you and it happens when you’re 43 and it happens when you’re 13. This sport has given me so much and yes there’s heart ache but when you come back from it, it is an amazing feeling. 

We’re going to come back from this, this is like one big injury that we’re all going through together. But I know we’re going to be stronger because of it and we’re going to look back and think “How did we do it?” 

You know what? Because runners do it. They just get through. And we’re tough cookies and I know that these kids and these runners and these athletes can handle it. Just get out the door, and have some fun out there.

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