Meb Keflezighi is the most successful US distance runner over the past decade, highlighted by his 2009 New York City Marathon victory. This weekend Meb will be taking to the streets of New York City once again to run the New York City half marathon. It is setting up to be an epic race as Meb toes the starting line with Ryan Hall, Galen Rupp and Kara Goucher on the women’s side.
On top of this Q&A, I am excited to have the opportunity to giveaway a signed copy of Meb’s book Run to Overcome, a story about his journey from humble beginnings in Eritrea to winning the New York City Marathon.
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Meb is a brilliant athlete, a proud father, a scholar and is philanthropic as he started the Meb Foundation which aims to inspire youths and their families to lead healthy, active and balanced lifestyles.
In 2009 I sat in amazement as Meb cruised through the final miles in Central Park. Like many other runners watching, I felt like I was right there with him as the emotion for what he was about to accomplish was written all over his face- crossing the finish line as the first American to win the New York City Marathon since 1982.
I am proud to present this Q&A with the great Meb Keflezighi:
Q1- Scott: At the 2004 Olympics you became the first American man to win a medal at the marathon distance since 1976 and at the 2009 New York City Marathon you became the first American man to win the Marathon since 1982. What is the next major running milestone we will see you accomplish?
Meb: I am honored and privileged to have earned those titles, especially considering the competition out there today. It’s difficult to top an Olympic medal and a major marathon win but I would love to win NYC again and make the 2012 Olympic team and perhaps set a PR in the Marathon and half.
Q2- Scott: You are considered the top US distance runner over the past decade. How do you maintain your strength throughout the year and what does your “base” training week look like?
Meb: It’s all about paying attention to detail for me. Stretching, eating right, resting and enjoying the overall process of becoming the best that I can be. It’s definitely a 24/7 job. I am always thinking of ways to improve and executing.
A really good base training is a key foundation for a successful season. My base training consists of many weeks of 100+ miles before my first race. My Sunday’s consist of long runs. Tuesday’s and Friday’s are my intense workout days and the rest of the days during the week are my recovery days (but not jogging).
Q3- Scott: The beautiful thing about the marathon is that the “average Joe” has the opportunity to run the same streets with the powerful elites. What would be your “formula for success” that you would share with the “average Joe” preparing a fall marathon training program?
Meb: Training for a marathon and finishing one is a huge accomplishment for anyone that is not a professional runner. I respect the runners that must balance training for a marathon with another full-time job. Just like in the classroom, if you have a test coming up you have to study in order to do well. Running the marathon is very similar. If you log the miles, you rest and eat healthy you should be able to achieve your goal on race day whether it is just to finish or hit a goal time.
If you’ve done the preparation, it is going to carry you through. Also, set realistic goals and slowly build towards them to minimize injuries and setbacks.
Q4- Scott: You have run multiple races in New York City. Is there something uniquely special or satisfying about running the streets/parks of New York City as opposed to other parts of the country?
Meb: New York City is one of the best places in the world. The energy level from the fans during the race is like no other that I’ve experienced. The media coverage is close to the Super Bowl for distance running. After winning the 2009 ING New York City Marathon I couldn’t get past the airports without been congratulated for my win. The New York Road Runners are professional and the best in the business hosting everything from the shorter distances to the marathon.
Good luck to Meb!
(the winner will be chosen via random.org on Tuesday March 22nd at 12:oo pm EST)