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August 27, 2018

Jacob Thomson: An Open Letter Ahead of Cross Country Season


Last week my former college team, the University of Kentucky, went on their usual preseason training camp in the Smoky Mountains. Before they left I wrote them but a short letter that ended with a few tips and beliefs that I have developed over the years in Lexington. I believe that these are the things have made me a successful runner over the years.

Last week, I shared many of these on social media day by day. I figured it would be good to put them all in one place to share with the rest you. These are not groundbreaking theories by any means, but I believe they are useful to both the competitive and recreational runner. Sometimes we all need a little reminder of what this sport is all about.


– Jacob Thomson, former Kentucky All-American & current Boston Athletic Association rookie

Day 1

Both training and racing are all about how you CHOOSE to walk through the fire.

Running hurts. Running fast really hurts. Embrace it. Welcome it. That hurt is what makes you stronger. Whenever you’re about to give in, be sure to remind yourself that you love the pain.

Day 2

Accountability. You GOTTA have it.

Get a friend, a training partner, a team, a coach, whoever you want and assign that person the task of holding you accountable to your goals each and everyday.

Day 3

Consistency is key.

Day after day, week after week and season after season: Stay healthy. Do it right. One crazy workout doesn’t make a season but 16 weeks of kicking a moderate amount of ass everyday does.

Day 4

Dealing with your team.

No matter how much someone gets on your nerves, remember that you share a common goal and you are all there for the same reason. A team works best when it works as a unit.

Day 5

Be slow to criticize and quick to encourage.

When someone wimps out in a workout or gets worked on a long run, it is okay to bust their chops a bit…but make sure you’re there for your teammates and that they know they are capable of doing it.

Day 6

Attitude is key.

When its 87 degrees with 90% humidity at 8:00 a.m. at your least favorite workout spot and your pain face sets in about halfway through the workout, smile, laugh and slap someone on the ass. Remind your group what you’re there for and what this will mean come race day.

Day 7

Remember why you are here.

You signed up for this. You wanted this. You chose to sacrifice, to hurt, and to lose all your early mornings and lazy Saturdays to push yourself, find your personal boundaries and represent something bigger than yourself.

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