Roads to Trails - Page 2
Q&A with Meb Keflezighi
What have you sacrificed the most to achieve your athletic success, and how has it shaped you as an athlete and person?
One of the biggest sacrifices I made in my career was leaving my family and hometown of San Diego, California. It is a beautiful place to live and train, but I knew that to maximize my potential, I needed to incorporate altitude training. So in 2001, Deena Kastor, Coach Joe Vigil, Coach Bob Larsen and I started Team Running USA-California in Mammoth Lakes, now known as the Mammoth Track Club. This led to Deena and I winning Olympic Medals in 2004 and the resurgence of American distance running.
Today, Mammoth is home to over a dozen Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. As a person, this experience has taught me that you sometimes have to give up certain things to achieve a bigger goal. I had to sacrifice my comfortable life with family, friends and great weather in San Diego to train in Mammoth and become a world-class runner. If you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to take risks, sacrifice and work very hard.
What advice would you give an aspiring elite athlete—road or trail—to achieve that next level of success?
Surround yourself with positive (yet realistic) and knowledgeable people. The key to progressing as a runner is consistent training. Listen to your body: Take a day off or cut a workout short rather than pushing too hard and having to take a week or more off to rehab an injury. Additionally, keeping a training log will help you accurately track your progress.
What is the best injury prevention?
Stretching, both before and after a run. As I grow older, I spend more time stretching throughout the day.
How much sleep do you get a day?
I try to get at least eight hours every night. Also, if necessary, I take a 20-minute nap.