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Have I reached my genetic potential?

November 11, 2019

from - Anonymous female runner

   How do you know if you have reached the limit of how fast you can run ( your genetic potential)? Is it possible for a girl to not improve after age 15 ? No injuries and trains hard with tempo runs, long runs speed workouts etc. 45 miles per week. Hasn't improved in two years. Highly motivated and dedicated   

Reply - Coach Janet

In my experience it is absolutely possible for a female runner to improve their performance well beyond the age of 15! I think you're just getting started in this journey.  With no injuries you're well ahead of the game because that means you can train consistently.  Remember though that not every training run needs to be HARD.... some of them are supposed to be easy recovery runs.  Much of the improvement in race times is relative to improvements in running economy once an athlete becomes more experienced.  Running economy is often improved with increases in hip and core strength. By working on strength you may see your running times improve incrementally.  Other things to look into - are you fueling well? Do you get adequate sleep? How's your race-execution strategy?  Are you pushing too hard and not getting enough recovery time? There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle but suffice it to say that at age 15 I'd be VERY surprised if you've reached your "genetic potential" - I think you've probably got some room to go yet.