The headlines say it all; “Ryan Hall: 2:04:57,” “One for the Ages in Boston,” and “Ryan Hall: His way is the right way at Boston Marathon.”
Despite much negativity and bets on career cataclysm amongst the keyboard running analyst after choosing to leave his coach and move to Flagstaff, Ryan Hall broke the American Record in the marathon yesterday, adding a second to his collection. Though surprising to the keyboard jockey only having witnessed his race results over the last 4 months, those inside his camp are not. His way is, as the headline suggests, the right way and a way that should be emulated by those aspiring to elite levels of performance.
When Ryan first walked into the door of the gym, it was clear that he was a man bound for (more) success. He was focused, patient, confident in his decisions, and trusting of the process–a set of skills and attitudes necessary to make the appropriate steps not just in training but throughout the day to support his training. Ryan also had the foresight to surround himself with a multidisciplinary team of professionals to help him both train hard and recover hard to push the envelope of adaptation.
A huge part of success in elite distance running is simply remaining healthy and consistent in training, and it’s not something that is easily done with controlling running volumes alone. Instead of hoping running is enough, the truly elite rely on regular assessment of biochemical markers, frequent treatments with qualified manual and massage therapies, carefully planned nutrition, unbelievable social support, and work with an athletic development coach devoted to clean movement and progression to help maximize training benefit while reducing risk of going over the edge.
No athlete with whom I’ve worked has established this team as well as Ryan has and his performance speaks volumes for the value of such a commitment. Congratulations, Ryan!