Five Questions (part 4 of 5): Caleb Masland

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This is part 4 of a  special Five Questions interview with someone I admire greatly.  Caleb Masland is, by all accounts, an incredible running coach and one hell of a runner. His story is one that speaks to runners at all levels.  His ability to recover from knee injury to full strength and speed (1:10 half marathon and 2:30 marathon!) is inspiring. And I hope to one day follow in his coaching footsteps.  (Click his name above for his full bio.)  You should follow him on facebook and twitter.  You can find him on Instagram at Caleb Masland, as well as follow posts on Twitter and Instagram by members of  his team with the hashtag #TeamWickedBonkproof.  He publishes a daily coaching tip that I often include in my five links for the day.  He is a connection well worth making.

I’ll be 47 in April.  So I am well into what we would call “Masters” running.  So as I age, even though I am fitter than I’ve ever been, and eat healthier than ever, I must remain cognizant of the changes in my body as I train for marathons and beyond.  What I did with Caleb is ask him a series of questions about the masters runner.  How does one coach a masters runner?  What changes should masters runners expect?  And so on.  Since these are lengthy, I decided to post one Q&A each day this week.  I hope you enjoy. Many thanks to Caleb for doing this.

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4) Yogi Berra once said “Baseball is ninety percent mental.  The other half physical.”  Running is just as mental a sport, as we well know.  Talk about the mental advantages and/or disadvantages that masters runners bring to their running and training lives.  Does chronological age necesarily equate to running maturity–the ability to take construcvie criticism well, to follow a running plan without deviation, etc?

There is definitely a distribution of “mental fitness” among masters runners just like any other age group. Some people are hard-headed and stubborn, and will bring that to training and racing. Of course, masters runners tend to be more mellow as a group in their approaches to training and racing, and are generally more pragmatic in the strategic sense. This means that they will have less of a tendency to go out too fast in a race, but it also means that they have more of a tendency to leave time on the table. In terms of training, the patience that masters runners usually have is generally a benefit. Seasoned masters runners will often have the same drive to push themselves as younger runners. Newer masters runners will often need a bit more prodding to really push beyond their comfort zone.

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