The Wisdom of Canova

Famed distance coach Renato Canova (right). 

Famed distance coach Renato Canova (right). 

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes form Canova: 

“Training is everything that you do in your life that can modify or can build some different characteristic.” 
“A Kenyan runner’s mentality is to run at the right speed. The Western runner’s mentality is to run the right distance.”

When I heard each, both gave me pause to stop and think, "why would he say that?" Upon reflection, the answer is clear: he knows something I don't. 

What does Canova know? Frankly, a lot. 

But, most importantly, he knows that training of runners is not a simplistic enterprise composed solely of tracking miles ran and recording workout splits. It is far more sophisticated than that.

Effective training is an integrated approach of evolving an athlete's characteristics and focus, ideally concurrently. This is tougher than it sounds. To change isn't easy. Inertia must be overcome. And to simultaneously shift multiple areas of competency requires a type of relentless enthusiasm, drive, and ambition which few possess.

Canova sums it up best: 

"If you want to be a top athlete you have to be a little bit wild, not be an accountant."


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus