If you talk about the great runners of today, Meb Keflezighi is undoubtedly part of the conversation. He tore it up on full-scholarship as a distance runner at UCLA, scored Nike sponsorship when he turned pro, and stepped into the international spotlight by winning silver in the 2004 Olympic marathon in Athens. He made headlines again when he won the New York City Marathon last year, making him the first American in 27 years--since Alberto Salazar in 1982--to earn the victory. The 35-year-old will return this year to defend his title. To prepare, he's spent some time training with Jared Fogle, a.k.a. The Subway Guy, who will also run in the NYC Marathon on November 7. Here are Keflezighi's top ten tips for going the distance.
10. Find a race to train for: Running is a great form of exercise, but preparing for a specific race allows you to set goals and structure your training.
9. Find a training buddy or group: In the course of training for a marathon, there will be days where you won’t feel like doing your workout. Having a training buddy or group will keep you accountable to each other, and motivate you to do your workout, even when you don’t feel like it. I always say, the hardest thing about running is getting out of the door. Once you are on your run, you won’t regret the decision.
8. Choose your running routes: Spend more time running on soft surfaces. The impact on your legs from running on pavement leads to injuries and a shorter running career (at any level). Since most road races are run on city streets, it is important to get your body used to running on pavement, so you cannot avoid it altogether. I run on pavement about twice a week.