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Olympic marathon runner’s unusual day job helps him prepare for races

Jared Ward has spoken on how his two worlds of academia and athleticism are very a lot mixed and the way he brings statistics into his coaching

Meb Kelflezighi and Jared Ward have fun after qualifying for the Olympics on the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Men’s Marathon on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

The world of gruelling coaching and health with a view to be a marathoner isn’t the one space that Jared Ward dedicates his time to – he additionally spends his time instructing statistics to school college students.

What’s most superb about his background is that he efficiently combines the 2 pursuits regardless of them being poles aside, with a view to convey his finest efficiency to his Olympic sport.

Best identified for putting sixth within the marathon on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic video games, Ward is a long-distance runner who competed in opposition to 155 athletes from 79 nations.

However, the 32-year-old additionally holds down the day job of being a statistics professor at Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah, the place he additionally accomplished each his Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.

Upon his preliminary arrival on campus as an undergraduate, Ward was tasked with selecting what his main can be by certainly one of his athletic advisers. He opted to main in statistics having at all times loved mathematical-based topics.








Jared Ward competing in the course of the Men’s Marathon on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
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Image:

Matthias Hangst/2016 Getty Images)



Fast ahead to 1 month after his commencement and the statistics division at BYU provided him a position to show a course on the college as a component time college member, a proposal that he was thrilled to just accept.

Ward continued to coach along with his Coach Eyestone after commencement and commenced to compete in marathons throughout the nation.

The US Olympic trials had been held in Los Angeles on 12 February 2016, Ward crossed the end line in third place and earned a spot on the coveted Olympic staff.

A mere six months later, Ward completed in sixth place in Rio de Janeiro with a time of two:11:30. Meaning that he was lower than three minutes behind gold medallist, Eliud Kipchoge, from Kenya.

Famously, the media referred to Ward as being the happiest sixth-place finisher they’d ever witnessed on the Olympics.

In 2020, Ward ran on the U.S. Olympic trials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics though he didn’t earn a spot. He continues to coach right now in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics and nonetheless passionately instructing his statistics class at BYU.

While his present tutorial occupation is arguably not widespread for an competing Olympian, his data and expertise helps him to prepare for every race.








Daniele Meucci of Italy and Jared Ward of USA compete within the Elite Men’s race in the course of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
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Image:

John Sibley – Pool/2020 Getty Images)



Armed with logistical pondering and insightful data, these have had a constructive affect on his method to competing as an Olympian commonplace athlete.

In an interview with The Olympics, Ward said: “I love the academic side and I love running. There is a lot going on, sometimes it feels like a balancing act but it feels like I’m blessed with a day full of things that I love.

“Now my two worlds, the athletic and the academic, has very much combined.

“It fuels the decisions that I make and how I train and race strategies. The numbers really play a big part into the running as well.”




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Ward spoke extra about his fine-tuned analytical method in an interview with Forbes, commenting:

“I would say I have a very analytical approach when it comes to racing.

“I believe it really lends itself to help me be more prepared for a race. I really look into the numbers when it comes to racing such as things like pacing profiles in regards to elite runners or everyday runners and everything in between.

“What is has specifically helped me with is looking at what differentiates the elite runners from the average runners and how they adjust their approach as they get further along in their careers.”

It’s true that Ward believed his background of scrutinising information gave him a push in the fitting path to grasp the widespread pitfalls that it’s statistically widespread for runners to face.

Ward continued: “Like in any sport, data can give you such a leg up in figuring out the best practices in your approach and optimal ways to succeed in your given competition.

“While it can’t get you over the hump by itself, I feel like my interest in data has helped me become a better runner and made me more prepared to run in some of the big races I’ve been able to compete in.”






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