Should You Specialize? 🤖

No. You need to be an athlete, not a robot.

If you’re a runner, should you do anything besides run?


If you didn’t see the news about Seattle Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf running 100 meters against professional runners, ya ought to check it out here. Spoiler alert: he ran a 10.37 for 100 meters (fast, but not pro sprinter fast) and track fans + NFL fans were buzzing leading up to the race.

10.37 was good enough for last in his heat and not fast enough to qualify for the Olympic Trials or to even advance to the finals of the meet.

Personally, I don’t care how fast he ran. What I think is more important is that he was willing to go outside football (and his comfort zone) and test his skillset against other professionals in their domain.

If you’re DK, here’s what you take out of this:

  • Speed training. He got some quality speed sessions in to prepare for the meet. This will translate well to the gridiron.

  • Humbled. Football fast might not be the same as track fast.

  • Motivation. There is nothing more motivating than trying to prove yourself to others.

  • Variety. There is a lot to be said about switching up your training and having something new to work towards.

I think this was a win-win for everyone. DK gets all the above + his sponsors love this, track and field loves this hype, and the NFL loves this exposure.

What the hell does this mean for you?

A ton. Marathon runners can’t just be marathon runners 12 months out of the year. Runners are meant to be athletes as well. I think it is so important for every level of runners (from my middle school team up through long-time adult runners) to switch up your training.

Not only should you do full cycles of off-competition training (ie: marathon runners running a season of 5k races), but within cycles, too.

Within your microcycles (7-21 days) we also need to be doing cross-training, strength training, and other sports too. Yes, I said it. We need to be more than just runners. We aren’t meant to move in one plane (forward), but also have lateral motions in our arsenal.

Have questions about what you can do for non-running activities? Leave a comment or reply to this email!

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Friday’s Action Plan:

Drop 1 run in a 21-day cycle in favor of cross-training or other sport (cycling, plyometrics, soccer, basketball, swimming, etc). It’ll make you more well-rounded.

What’s Got My Attention:

Article: This year, you can watch track all summer long on ESPN 

Article: How Exercise May Help Us Flourish

Popular Articles on the Blog this Week:

Guide to Resistance Band Training

How to Increase Your Stride Rate

Plyometric Routine for Runners

Popular Newsletter Sessions:

Flexibility Unlocks Potential

Tips to Help You Bounce Back

Quote of the Day:

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.

Big Events Coming Up:

Good luck to Alan competing in the York, Pa Marathon this weekend.

Connect with me:

Here’s what I’m working on and what I’d love you to check out:

What Marc's Up To

Thanks for following along on the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me:

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Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.