Smart advice from Charlie on why you should be picking your own event to compete in.
Youth athletes often come to track because they have been told they are fast, or they are really quick. They usually get noticed on the soccer field, or in another sport, and when they first come to track they have no idea what to run. For example, when I was younger and I first started track, I had the idea that I was a sprinter. I would run the 100, 4x100, and long jump. I wasn’t exactly quick, but I wasn’t exactly slow. As I got older I tried new events and turns out I am much faster the longer the race gets, and I enjoy long distance much more. This was especially funny because my Mom and Dad both are runners as well and run distance. How could they have not known?!
Runners come in all different shapes and sizes and a lot of them have different specialties. Some people are just fast in different ways - some quick, some gritty, and some can run forever. Some athletes like to run long and enjoy runs working on endurance, while others like to run short and fast workouts, working on improving their speed. For an example, as much as I like the feel of a good hard and quick workout, nothing can replace our long run each week.
When you choose an event, or if you are deciding whether you want to do distance or sprints, it can be a very hard choice. My best advice is to try it all. You can never know quite how good or talented you are at something until you try it. You could be good at sprinting, but exceptional at distance or vice versa. Try everything until you find your event.