Marathon Meb: Inspired By You

Meb Keflezighi has been on the road often since winning the Boston Marathon, but he's about to start his training for the 2014 New York City Marathon in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Meb Keflezighi explains how he has been inspired by runners like you since he won the Boston Marathon.

It’s been a very busy spring and summer for me since I won the Boston Marathon in April. I’ve been all over the country talking to people, participating in events for charities and connecting with runners and followers of our sport. I’ve told thousands of people about my experience in Boston, but I have personally been inspired by the runners I have met and the stories they have told me.

For example, I met a man recently who is 62 and training for his first marathon. I also met a woman who is a recent cancer survivor and is now training for her first half marathon. We all have goals we’re pursuing, but our motivations and life stories are different. But that’s one of the things that makes running—and the running community—so great.

The sport has done a lot for me and I want to connect with the people who have cheered me on and have seen me be successful and help them achieve their goals. And that’s why, when people ask me if there was a specific kind of training or something special that helped me win that day in Boston, I tell them it’s the cumulative hard work through the years that made the biggest difference.

I wasn’t the most talented runner in the field that day, but when I train and race, my theory is that no one should be able to outwork me. Maybe I outsmarted some of the runners that day too, but in the end I think it was the little things I do while training and racing that helped me reach the finish line first.

I’ve known all my career that I have to be committed and have to persevere in order to achieve my goals. It doesn’t come easy, but if you do the small things continually—like doing drills, doing strength work, stretching or taking an ice bath to help the body recover—eventually they will pay big dividends. And that’s true for all runners. You have to be committed to doing the small things, even if they seem pretty boring.

When I broke away from the pack in Boston, I knew it was a risky move. Probably 99 percent of the time when a runner makes a move like that, he or she gets caught. Thankfully, I was one of the rare ones who wasn’t caught. I know it’s because of the hard work and the discipline and the commitment to the small things beyond running mileage that I do six or sometimes seven days a week.

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About The Author:

Meb Keflezighi is the only runner in history to win both the New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon and earn an Olympic medal. This is the first installment of his new “Marathon Meb” column for Competitor. Follow along each month in the magazine and also find regular training tips and inspiration at competitor.com/runmeb.

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