Becoming a Professional Runner in 3 Steps.
Many people turn to running as their choice of exercise. The idea is to stay fit and healthy. But those who are more dedicated, devoting their time and effort consistently, might consider taking this workout a little further. They could aim to become professionals.
If you are such a runner who wants to transcend to the competitive realm, then this article will guide you. Mind you, it will not be easy. Apart from learning about sponsorships, organizers and events, you will have to truly commit to your training every single day. Be patient and consistent. With the right network and hard work you can make it.
Invest in Your Training
First, you must transform into your fittest self. To participate and compete in professional events, you need to have the ability, skill and endurance. Begin with the diet. Eat balanced meals with minimal refined sugar and processed food (try to eliminate them entirely, if possible). Your diet should have the recommended dietary portions of carbohydrates, protein, fats and micro nutrients like vitamins and minerals. The best way to track what you eat is under the guidance of a sports dietitian. They will recommend the right food and quantity based on the amount of work you do.
With a healthy diet set as your base, you should now invest in your training. Practice running every day. The more you run, the better and stronger you will become. A tip on running better is to take shorter strides. This minimizes the landing shock a runner may experience. You should also try cross-training. This will involve performing other activities apart from running. Once or twice a week, you can opt for swimming or playing a sport instead of running. This will give your legs enough rest to repair.
Speaking of rest, ensure you receive sufficient rest between two running sessions. Stretch properly after a workout to prevent soreness. For best results, work closely with a physiotherapist who will monitor your gains and advice you on how to prevent injuries.
Network with the Community
Do some research online and connect with your local running community. You can also become a member of bigger organizations like the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. Thanks to social media, you can discover professional runners online. Connect with them through messages and create a strong network. Many runners probably live in your own neighborhood. Try to meet them and perhaps even train together. Belonging to a community motivates you to stay on track.
This is also a good time to hire a trainer or coach who can help you with the training. You should also consider getting a sports agent. The agent will keep a track of all upcoming events and handle your sponsorships. It will take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus entirely on your training.
Your newly hired agent will advise you on which races to pick. But if you are just starting out, you need to make that decision alone. Of course, you should talk to other people before making the decision. The runners from your community can guide you on various races out there. Your coach can recommend the right race for you depending on your current stamina and skill. Make your decision based on all the information and suggestions you receive from the experienced people.