I am an easily inspired young woman, and watching the olympics has gotten me all worked up (women's soccer, anyone??). I'm 22 and currently training for my second marathon (Frankfurt). I ran one last year in 3:48:00 pretty easily. By that I mean that my training plan did not have tons of miles, I skipped a lot of workouts, I didn't use a HRM or even a watch... I have pretty good base fitness, but nobody has ever called me a phenom or anything, and I've never trained or raced very competitively.
So my question is kind of far out: is it crazy to think that if I really really work hard for the next few years that I could be really really fast when I'm in my late 20s/early 30s? What does it take to actually be competitive? Does anybody start in their 20s or are marathon winners, olympians, etc. all high school and college cross country athletes?
What this boils down to is: in order to be world-class, do you need to have a special body, or can you just work hard? And for how long do you need to work?
I'm hoping to hit a boston qualifying time this year and keep on shaving minutes off from there...any advice would be great.
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