Ryan Vail is an elite American runner that is wrapping up a stellar year. He finished 6th at the 2013 US Cross Country Championships, made the US team and competed in the World Championships in Poland this past Spring where he was part of a Silver Medal team which was the first for the US since 1984 and finished ahead of the Kenyan team.

He notched a new PR in the 10,000m of 27:44 and in October won the San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon in 62:46. He was also the top American finisher at the 2013 New York City Marathon in a tough elite field including Meb Keflezighi and Jason Hartmann despite tough conditions and an unfortunate fueling situation. He represents not only the future, but present of American distance running.

Since coming onto the marathon scene in 2012, he debuted with an 11th place finish at the 2012 Olympic Marathon trials at 2:12:43 and in his second marathon bested that with 2:11:45 in Japan following the cancellation of last year’s NYC Marathon.

Given his recent racing and training, he is positioned to become just the 17th American to run under 2:10 in the near future and maybe be in the hunt for a marathon win of his own.

In this episode, Ryan and I chat about:

  • His belief that how runners approach their training differs little between the elite and amateur level
  • His thoughts leading up to his marathon debut in the US Olympic Trials vs. what he knows now
  • Why we don’t have more runners moving into the marathon at a younger age
  • His unique race day strategy that isn’t time or pace based that you can try
  • How he was able to perform at the highest level when faced with poor conditions and fueling issues
  • His method for planning goals and mapping out the work required to get there
  • What he attributes to running healthy and at his best in the face of so many elites becoming injured
  • Staying focused and not getting distracted on how everyone else is training
  • Coaching tenants from his national championship coach Dave Smith
  • The importance of being fluid in your goals on race day
  • How to relate your training now to long term goals maybe years out
  • If he ever “hits the wall”
  • The criteria he uses to make a decision when it is time to “go for it” in a race

Tweetable Insights

Share some of the key insights from this podcast episode with your followers on Twitter and spread Ryan’s message to runners along with Runner Academy podcast.

“Take your training one step further in each marathon you run” [Click to Tweet]

“Why change your training if you are still improving stick with what is working” [Click to Tweet]

“There is no secret training plan if you have put the time in. Trust your training” [Click to Tweet]

“Be willing to be fluid in your plans on race day” [Click to Tweet]

Quick Tip

5 common running mistakes that can prevent you from achieving what you desire.

Links Mentioned in the Show

ryanvail.blogspot.com – Ryan Vail’s website and training
@ryanvail – Follow Ryan on Twitter

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