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I recently came across the story of ultra marathon runner Stu Mittleman. Stu’s story certainly puts the importance of training and goal setting into perspective. At one stage of his life he wasn’t even a runner and now he’s in the Ultra Marathon Running Hall of Fame. After reading the distances and times that he ran, think about the distances that you’re currently running in preparation for the upcoming season. Obviously the training for a soccer player and ultra marathon runner are completely different, however, it certainly puts things into perspective in terms of what people are willing to settle for in life.

For starters, Stu is an amateur runner. His story began when one day he learned of a native tribe in South America that ran 75 kilometers in one day, once a year, as a celebration. He wanted to learn why they did this, so he went to South America and learned from them.

After applying the same techniques the tribe used in his own training, he embarked upon a running feat like never before. Upon his 30th birthday, he ran 1, 609 kilometers in 11 days! Imagine that…11 days! That’s approximately 3.4 marathons per day for 11 days straight. And the best part is he was stronger at the end of it than when he started. Stu has since gone on to set several records and enter the Ultra Marathon Running Hall of Fame.

Now think about the five kilometers you run every third day, or the ten kilometers you run every weekend (or whatever kind of training routine you have). Honestly, it’s probably not that bad. If you really want to be in top running condition, as a soccer player, you need to be running six days a week doing a combination of high intensity interval running and light long distance jogging.

But the good news is, that when you can run like the wind, your game will grow to a whole new level.


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