The injured marathoner believes he’ll be back up to speed soon.
When the 43rd edition of the ING New York City Marathon goes off on Sunday morning, Ryan Hall won’t be among the millions of spectators watching.
“No, I can’t watch a race I was supposed to run,” he said Friday after running with a group of ASICS-sponsored editors on a shakeout run through Central Park.
Hall’s scratch from this year’s five-borough race comes after he DNS’d at Boston earlier this year. That follows his DNF in the 2012 London Olympic marathon, and a withdrawal from last year’s New York race, which was ultimately cancelled. All of these resulted from a series of relatively small injuries to his foot and leg that were significant enough to prevent him from training at a level that would allow him to compete with some of best in the world, which he accomplished with a five-year string of two world class-marathons a year through 2011.
“I had plantar fasciitis, which I basically trained through leading up to the Trials,” he said. “Then my hamstring started bothering me before London, possibly because I was altering my stride due to the plantar.
“Then a tore one quad, again from compensating, and now the other one. It’s frustrating.”
After his latest setback, Hall has made it a point to spend more time in the weight room, concentrating on his legs to achieve better balance between his hamstrings and quads. He’s also doing easy distance runs to build an aerobic base before doing any sort of quality work as part of a spring marathon buildup.
Not in the cards is a return to Italian coach Renato Canova, who advised Hall late last year. “That didn’t really work out,” said Hall. “I think for a coach to help, he’s got to be right there, seeing how you look while you run, what your stride looks like. The distance thing just doesn’t work for me.”
Nor does he see himself working with any other coach in the future. “I think I’ve learned so much in my career that getting a coach would just be a step backward,” he said.
Hall also seems resigned to the fact that primarily solo training will remain his method in the future, unless an unanticipated change in his living arrangements occurs. “I’m pretty much committed to Redding [Calif.] and Flagstaff,” he said. “There aren’t many people there I can train with, and I don’t think they’re going to move there to run with me.”
Nonetheless, Hall, ever the optimist, with a rock-solid faith in God as an underpinning for his running, feels he’ll be back, hopefully as soon as next spring, intimating that he still has some unfinished business in Boston, in spite of several podium finishes including his American best (but not record) 2:04:58 in 2011.
“I haven’t had really big, career-threatening injuries, just ones that kept me from being 100 percent on race day. If I can stay healthy, I’ll be right back.”