Before I ran track in high school, I only thought I could run fast.
When I got there, my coaches pushed me to to throw up, to pass out, to collapse. They told me my legs *could* move faster, I just needed to commit the movements to muscle memory. They told me I could break a five-minute mile. They told me I could keep running when my mind screamed STOP.
What I thought was 100% before track, was more like 60%.
By having experienced my highest threshold, I could more consistently practice at near 80%.
As my skill and endurance improved, my output at 80% improved and then, in turn, I had to reset the limiter.
I’m writing this so I will always remember to apply this to whatever it is I’m working on. And always remember the value of having a coach.
1.) For everyone, there is an absolute max. Not everyone can be an Olympian. You have to know what you’re good at and go for it.
2.) Regarding figuring out what you are good at: beware of paralysis by analysis. Pick something and just start. Give it your best. You’ll learn along the way and make adjustments as you go.