How Does One “Go Pro”?

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I was recently asked by a more accomplished athlete than myself, how does one exactly go pro with running?

Triathlon and many other sports have Pro Cards athletes earn. But, I don’t think that is what makes a person a professional.

In my eyes, it’s adopting a Pro State of Mind.

Simple as that.



Check out this video from professional runner Ryan Vail. Many other professional athletes are in the same boat. They train full time and work part time in the fitness industry (or elsewhere) to support their training.

That’s a big part of being pro.

Amateurs run to escape their regular daily life. Professionals do daily life things (like a “job”) to support/escape their running.

While my 17:41 5k PR is far from the speed of elite professional runners, I still consider myself a professional (but clearly not elite). I train full time and work to support this, not the other way around. I’m a writer and coach with a fully flexible schedule, completely conducive to getting in the rest and running I need to train full time.

What do you think? What does it take to go pro?