In 1954, Roger Bannister made history by being the first man to run a sub 4 minute mile. This brought on many more competitors who ran that fast... however, there is only one person in history that has run 2 back to back miles that are sub 4 minute. In 1997, Daniel Komen ran the 2 miles in 7:58.61 which broke the original record by over 2 seconds (which is a big difference). This same individual has held (at one point) 5 world records, and currently still holds 3 of them.
I had the opportunity to meet Daniel Komen last Saturday, when he and David Cheromei came to Johnson University for a 5k run. I was able to spend quite a bit of time talking to both Daniel and David, and learned about what it took to be someone of that caliber.
Sure it takes talent to be able to compete as an elite athlete, but what brings them up to a higher level is their mindset. I was able to talk to both Daniel and David about their training, and they told me that their training went to about 100 miles a week... which is longer than what most people run per week training for a marathon. Considering that both Daniel and David run shorter races, it seems utterly amazing that they put in that kind of mileage and compete in the races that they race.
However, they look ahead with the end in mind and train 3 hours a day in order to reach that goal. In order to get to where they are at, it takes time, dedication, hard work ethic, and talent. Looking at what they've done, it encourages me to work harder to get to where I need to be for the races ahead of me.