How to Run Like Meb Keflezighi
Photo by Nancy Lane, Boston Herald 2014

Meb Keflezighi is undeniably America’s most popular active marathon runner. He’s a great ambassador for the sport of running. He’s humble, he’s compassionate, and he’s blazing fast. Want to run like Meb? Here are some things Meb does to run faster.

  • Good Goals – Set specific goals that have deep personal meaning, are very specific, and rest on the threshold between challenging and unattainable. A generic goal would be to run a marathon someday.  A good goal would be to run the NYC marathon in 2015 in under 3:23:00 so that I can qualify for Boston in 2017. See the difference?
  • Commitment – Live your life in such a way that every decision is made in regards to your goal. If I eat this hamburger and fries, will it help or hinder my progress? Should I go out tonight and drink with my buddies, or rest up for my long run tomorrow morning? Running is a lifestyle decision.
  • Hard Work – Train hard and reap the rewards on race day. Training requires hard work physically and mentally. Your patience and persistence will help you reach your goals.
  • Eat Well – Fuel your runs and maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet. Eat fresh high-quality foods and avoid processed foods. Alcohol should be consumed only in moderation, if at all.
  • Recover Well – Between runs, focus on recovery. This is when your body adapts to all the rigors of training. You actually get stronger on these off days. If you’re running on your recovery days, go extra slow. Massage, foam rolling, and compression gear can help speed up recovery.
  • Running Form – While we all have our own running form that is unique to our bodies and our brains, small improvements can usually be made. By improving your running form, you will run farther and faster while using less energy. Regular form drills are a must.
  • Cross-Training – Finding a low-impact aerobic activity allows us to workout in a way that improves our endurance while avoiding the repeated pounding that can cause injuries. The ElliptiGo bike, traditional biking, and water running are all good forms of cross-training for runners.
  • Strength – Increasing your strength will help you to run faster, avoid injury, improve your form, get leaner, and counteract the effects of aging.  The important muscles to strengthen aren’t the “beach muscles,” there the smaller muscles that act as stabilizers in your hips, feet, back, and neck.
  • Flexibility – Make stretching a regular part of your routine. Stretching before a run helps our bodies transition from a state of inactivity to activity. Stretching after a run helps reduce muscle soreness and relaxes your body.
  • Training – It’s better to be undertrained than overtrained. Stay healthy and hungry by progressing slowly and steadily. Mix things up using speed, distance, and terrain as variables.
  • Racing Strategy – Warm up properly with a slow jog and some stretching followed by some quick strides. Mentally prepare by visualizing your ideal race performance in as much detail as you can.

If you want to take the next step in learning what makes Meb Keflezighi such a great runner, check out his new book, Meb for Mortals. It’s chock full of running drills and great advice from Meb.

Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner

 

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