Now is the Time to Set Your Own Narrative- Michael Hammond

Collegiate, post-collegiate & non-collegiate running with Michael Hammond

Michael Hammond is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he competed in cross country and track, earning two ACC titles and four NCAA All-American honors.

His individual efforts led his team to four ACC team championships: one in cross country, two in indoor track, and one in outdoor track.

So, how could a runner with such an impressive collegiate resume struggle with running after college?

On this episode, Michael shares his experiences of running in, and after, college. He speaks openly and honestly about his challenges and his observations from working with both competitive and non-competitive runners.

He relates how he has gained a massive amount of respect for runners who are not just trying to hit their personal goals, whatever they may be, but to do it while juggling everyday, real-world responsibilities of life, work and / or families.

In his role as Director of Coaching for RunnersConnect, Michael has gotten to know every member, their motivations and exactly what support they need to get from the coaches as well as from each other.

And as you’ll hear, this community-based, member-to-member support is one of the benefits members appreciate the most.

Now is the Time to Set Your Own Narrative- Michael Hammond

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Michael’s collegiate / post-collegiate running experiences
  • How and why Michael took a self-imposed hiatus from running
  • How similar recreational and collegiate runners are
  • Michael’s role with RunnersConnect
  • How RunnersConnect coaches help different types of runners
  • How RunnersConnect members support each other to reach their personal goals

Questions Michael is asked:

3:59 What is your background with running?

8:36 Now that you are on a ‘long hiatus’ from running, what have you filled that gap with?

10:30 What is it about collegiate running that is so intense?

15:04 Did your injury make it easier for you to transition out of competitive running?

18:16 Looking back, what advice would you give for someone either in a collegiate program or post-collegiate who is questioning their passion for running?

21:04 What did it feel like to break 4:00 in the mile?

25:05 What differences do you see between how collegiate runners and recreational runners approach running?

28:41 What appreciation have you gained for recreational runners who aren’t necessarily competing, but are just trying to better themselves?

33:09 What does your job as Director of Coaching for RunnersConnect entail?

36:13 What do you think makes RunnersConnect stand out from other training sites?

40:23 How do you plan to keep the community feel while the membership continues to grow?

43:58 How can RunnersConnect help shorter distance runners?

45:54 What impresses you most about the power of the running community to help each other out?

50:46 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Michael:

“No one gets started in just running.”

“A harsh reality for me about post-collegiate running… is that most people just DON’T care about your running anymore unless you are absolutely at the top.”

“Be real with yourself. Be real with what you want. Be real with your goals.”

“If you can have any control over this, try to get in a race you have a chance of winning to break 4:00.”

“In college, you always have (goals) to chase. If you don’t have stuff to chase, you’re gonna get cut from the team because you have to have stuff to chase. You don’t even have to decide it; your coach decides it for you.”.

“(As a recreational runner) you totally get to set your own narrative in a way. And I actually think there’s something really cool about that. And you can make it as huge of a deal or as small of a deal as you want. I’ve definitely grown to really respect that.”

“Ultimately, how can you put together a team of coaches that truly knows EVERYONE? You can’t; it’s impossible. Anyone who tells you that they are is lying. It’s just not possible.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

How RunnersConnect Can Help You Run Faster

Book: Running with the Buffaloes

Nike running shoes

Michael’s email

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