Ryan Hall: On Passion, Preparation, and Race Day 2014
American elite marathoner Ryan Hall has a lot to look forward to in Boston this year. After a string of bad-luck injuries, he’s back and ready to run. In this exclusive ProForm interview, find out Hall’s goals for 2014, how he plans to stay injury free, and why he trains on the ProForm Official Boston Marathon Treadmill. This interview comes from around the world, as Hall is currently training in Ethiopia.
Meet Ryan Hall
The American half marathon record holder, Ryan Hall, has “become one of the premier faces in American distance running,” according to USA Track and Field. He posted the second-fastest marathon time ever by an American at the 2008 London Marathon with 2:06:17. He also became the first American to break the one-hour barrier in the half marathon—shattering the current record, which had stood for 21 years, by more than one minute.
Hall placed in the top four at the Boston Marathon from 2009 to 2011. His personal best came in 2011 at 2:04:53. He placed third that year. In 2012, Hall was forced to drop out of a race for the first time of his career during the Olympic marathon due to a hamstring injury.
“I RUN because I was created to run.”
What makes you passionate about competing in the Boston Marathon this year?
This year’s race will be unlike any other. It is all about uniting together and showing the world that we may get knocked down, but we will not stay down. This will be the most historically significant race I have ever competed in.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen you complete a marathon, what goals do you have for the 2014 Boston Marathon?
My goal is the same as always: to run my own race with passion and to get out all that God puts inside of me on that day. I don’t know exactly how things will go, but I know I have done everything in my power to be ready. I am healthy and really excited to see what happens on race day.
“[Boston] will be the most historically significant race I have ever competed in.”
If you were to finish this phrase: I Run For ______________. What words would resonate with you? Why?
I would say I run for the love of running. I run because I was created to run. I run to help those in need through the Hall Steps Foundation and other organizations. And I run for my health.
Recently you’ve talked about your goal of being healthy to run every day in 2014. How do you plan to stay injury-free this year?
I’ve had to do a better job at consistently undertraining. I am a huge dreamer and I love to push myself. So I’ve had to learn that the body responds better to consistent undertraining than overtraining. I’ve been running a lot less on my recover days, but my workouts have been higher quality and higher in volume because I am recovering better by not running as many miles.
I basically audited my training and eliminated a lot of junk mileage that wasn’t really helping me and leading to injuries. With that said, injuries are something that pop up from time to time even when you take really good care of yourself and undertrain. So I’ve had to learn to not beat myself up too much when injuries do come.
What do you love about training on ProForm’s Official Boston Marathon Treadmill? Which features are your favorites and why?
I love training on ProForm’s Official Boston Marathon Treadmill. Previously, I have spent as much as three weeks in Boston training on the course so I could familiarize myself with the hills, atmosphere, ect. Boston is such a technical course. It makes a huge difference to know the course well. So getting on the course as much as possible is hugely important.
This year I have done some very significant training runs on my treadmill and found it to be even more beneficial than being on the course. When I am on the treadmill I get to see moment-by-moment the actual grade I am running at—whereas in real life you usually don’t have that luxury.
“The ProForm Official Boston Marathon Treadmill lets my body get accustomed to actually running the course without having to move to Boston.”
I also love the video feature because it really does make you feel like you are actually there. The best part about training on the treadmill is getting your legs used to exactly what they are going to be feeling on race day. The more you experience in practice what you will experience in the race, the better off you will be. The legs have to get “calloused” to the course, and the most optimal way to do this is to run the actual course. The ProForm Official Boston Marathon Treadmill lets my body get accustomed to actually running the course without having to move to Boston. Better yet, I can experience the course at 7,000 feet at my home in Flagstaff, Arizona! Boston will feel a lot easier than usual thanks to ProForm.
As told to Erica Colvin, ProForm writer