Ryan Hall is not only a phenomenal athlete but is an amazing and humble man. Ryan is a long distance runner, and winner of 2008 United States Olympic Trials. Hall is the first American to complete a half marathon in under an hour and currently holds the record at 59:43. He also ran the fastest marathon by any American at his third consecutive Boston Marathon, where he ran (unofficial) 2:04:58.
We had an awesome opportunity to interview Ryan one on one and learned so much from him.
Hall ran for Stanford, where he had many ups and downs. He was able to finish school and had a successful running career at Stanford. With all the ups and down Hall has had throughout his life he said one of the greatest moments was when he broke an hour in the half marathon, being the first American to do this.
“I had been through so many ups and downs in my career.. when you hit a really sweet day, like I hit that day in Houston it sticks with you for a while. All my emotion, everything came out in the 100 meters.” -Hall said.
When asking Hall what it was like to be an American Olympian he responded: “I am blessed to live out my dream and to have been on 2 Olympic teams, not everyone has that opportunity. Sometimes injuries happen, sometimes everything goes right and you still don’t make it… it is a huge honor I will reflect back on it for my entire life with humility and pride.”
Ryan truly enjoys running and sees that as a huge part in improving in his career. He said “I always do best in my training and racing when I’m just having fun… the fun-factor is a huge tool in developing to your full potential as a runner.”
When preparing for a race, Ryan sees nutrition as a huge part. Ideally he tries to eat well when training but especially 2 days before the competition. He spreads his loading out 2 days before and eats lots of small meals, about every 2-3 hours. He mostly eats carbs during these smaller meals but also incorporates protein and fat. The night before a race Hall typically eats brown rice pasta and muscle milk for protein, his favorite being cake batter flavor. He tries to stay away from any red meats or anything else that doesn’t digest well. The morning of a race Ryan will have a shake about 2-3 hours before with maltodextrin and a cake batter muscle milk. At the starting line Ryan will have a gel with water to start his race off. And finally to celebrate (cheat) Ryan loves baked goods, especially cinnamon rolls.
Ryan had to pull out of his first race ever, and it happened to be at the Olympics, due to an injury. He expressed that this was the hardest decision he has ever had to make. “Here I am in the Olympics, and i just talked about what a huge honor it was to be there, and then to have to drop out of the race when you so desperately want to make that moment everything you dreamed it to be and want to honor your Country, family, friends and God. Then you have something in your body not allowing you to function how you dreamed it functioning, it was heart breaking, it was really hard. But one thing I have learned and helped contribute to me becoming an Olympian is to just get back up. I don’t see myself as the most talented runner in the U.S. but what I do have is the ability to just get back up after injury and to just work very hard on the other side of injury to just treat it.”
Ryan has a strong relationship with God and believes through running he increases this relationship. Hall said “It’s been hugely influential for me, always has been. I feel like God gives everyone gifts. Running is an expression of giving myself back to God, and expression of the gifts he has given me. It’s more just me connecting with God. Some people connect with God really good when they sing, paint or dance, with me it’s running, I feel that connection really strong when I am running”
We wish Ryan luck in his upcoming race at the New York Marathon and during his month in Kenya. Ryan will be going to Kenya to run with and learn from the Kenyan people. “I love their culture, I love the people, I love their way of life.” -Hall said. One of his favorite things about Kenyan runners is at the finish line he cannot tell who had a bad or good race because everyone is happy. “They don’t take their failures personal at all it doesn’t change their belief in what they think is possible for them.”
Good luck Ryan in your future, and thanks for joining us! We will be cheering for you! View Interview with Ryan Hall.