Lynn Jennings is one of the most accomplished middle and long distance runners in United States history. She was a dominant force in track, road racing and cross country both in the United States and internationally.
She has won more United States women’s cross country titles than anyone in history with 9 titles over 12 years from 1985 until 1996, including 3 consecutive world championship titles in women’s cross country from 1990-92.
She has also won 10 United States outdoor champion titles and set the USA women’s indoor 5,000 m along with a record in the 10,000 m of 31:19.89 which lasted for a decade until broken by Deena Kastor. She also claims the USA 10K road race record of 31:06 as of the time of this recording.
In addition, she is a 3 time Olympian and won the bronze medal in the 10,000 m event at the Barcelona games in 1992.
Her story is one of peaks and troughs. From being the slowest runner on the 9th grade boys cross country team to becoming the most highly sought after college recruit only to have an uninspiring college performance and moments of self reflection before she accomplished greatness.
In this episode you’ll learn why regardless of how a race goes, there is always a take away. She reaffirms the importance of understanding your motivations for running to keep you focused and consistently working towards your running goals.
If you encounter periods of losing focus or motivation, Lynn’s story will resonate with you. In fact she quit numerous times in her college career and after an unsuccessful Olympic trials in 1984. She’ll share how it happened to her and how she overcame it.
She also discusses how your mental strength as a runner is key to bringing out the best performance you are capable of while stressing how running is a long term process to reach your potential.
Lynn also shares her strategies for mentally preparing for your key races, as she reflects on her preparations and experience leading up to her 1992 Olympic final along with a tip to make sure you finish with the best time possible.
In the quick tip, do you do the marathon shuffle? I’ll explain what it is, and how to break this habit as a distance runner which will allow you to run more economically with proper mechanics for speed.
Links Mentioned in the Show
craftsbury.com - Website of the summer running camp Lynn Jennings directs in Vermont