Posts Tagged ‘Frank Shorter’

From Shorter: Go Faster

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Frank Shorter


From Shorter, How to Get Faster

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.” – Sir Roger Bannister (first person to do a sub-4 minute mile)
I have a few blue ribbons from my early days running (before I turned 12.) I even have an age division award from the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon in the late 80s. But I’ve never been obsessed about PRs And I don’t have a case full of running trophies! I suppose my running satisfaction is quenched less by the clock and more by crossing the finish line. I would define my running career as a satisfied “middle of the packer.” And althought, I’ve never been discouraged by not finishing first, I have wanted to run faster at different points of my training.

When I was in my early 20s I was asked to serve on the Colorado Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness. Another councilmember was the World Class runner Ellen Hart Pena. Ellen not just an amazing runner, she’s a terrific mother and I really admire her! She introduced me to a friend of hers… the legendary American long-distance runner Frank Shorter. Shorter won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. His victory is credited with igniting the running boom in the United States of the 1970s.

I actually met Frank in a limosine on the way to his race the Boulder Boulder in the late 90s, (which would be glamorous except it was about 4am in the morning on race day!) Because of my work on the Fitness Council I was helping with some Boulder Boulder race preps and was riding from Denver to the race with the organizers. I had just returned to running a few months prior following the birth of my first son. Getting through my workouts and races faster had become more important because I had a reason to get home quicker— to be a mom!

As we road together I asked Frank a simple question. I told him I wanted to be quicker. I laughed and said I’m not trying to beat Ellen but as a runner “How do you get faster?”

He paused. Then answered with this, “Amy, to run fast. You have to run fast.”

Everyone laughed. Maybe there is a hidden message in his advice but I took it this way…. you have to train fast, to get faster. So that’s what I did for his race…. Year after Year. And I looked back at the race results for Boulder Boulder for the years I ran it…. And it must have motivated me…

By the way, the Boulder Boulder can have as many as 50,000 runners and is the largest timed race in the USA. It’s an awesome course!

1999 (under my married name) 1:04:50
2000 AMY FREEZE 55:22
2001 AMY FREEZE 50:27
2002 AMY FREEZE 48:22

Running fast for me is about running faster when and where I can. I like my spot in the middle of the pack on race day… getting ready to run my best race. And yes, I admist I’m happy when I finish a workout quicker than usual. But it’s mostly because I can start working on dinner!! 🙂