Ryan Hall, the RunBlogRun Interview with America's enigmatic marathoner, by Larry Eder

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Ryan Hall ran 2:04:58 in Boston in 2011, what will he do in 2014? 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Hall may be the most talented American marathoner ever. Will we ever see a race that shows all of that talent? We came close in 2011, when Ryan Hall ran 2:04:58 at Boston. Since then, Ryan has had a series of up and down races. He has not raced since last fall, but his training is going quite well.

One keen observer, who knows a bit about Ryan Hall's training habits told me: " Ryan shortened his easy days, and pushed his hard days. His overall training mileage is down, but his quality is up and he is healthy!" 

Thanks to Ryan Hall, who we hope will run the race of his life in Boston on Monday, April 21, 2014. As Ryan Hall notes, this is a race of redemption for many. For Ryan Hall, who seems to perform only when his back is against the wall, this could be a very important race in his career. 


Hall, Keflezighi, Abdirahman, Healthy Kidney run 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

RBR, #1: How was your training for Boston been going?

Ryan Hall: Really well. I am really excited to test out my fitness. Having trained at 9,000 feet in Ethiopia for the past month has made me very strong. 

RBR, # 2: What did you think of Bekele's race in Paris? (editor's note: Kenenisa Bekele ran 2:05:04 in his debut in Paris on 6 April).

Ryan Hall: Very impressive.

RBR, # 3: How should people look at Mo Farahs debut? (editor's note: Mo Farah ran 2:08:21 in his debut). 

Ryan Hall: It was very good as well.  He was in a much different race than
Bekele.  He has a great marathon in him.

RBR, # 4: Haile (Gebrselassie) said in London that runners should focus on track until 25 and then try the marathon. Your thoughts? 

Ryan Hall: I respect anything Haile says.  I would say that it's possible to run a great marathon at a young age and I believe it is possible to run
great marathons consistently for years on end it just requires not
over training and continually going back to good speed work on the

RBR, # 5: Tell us about your enthusiasm for Boston?

Ryan Hall: I have never been so excited for a race. There is a huge theme of redemption in this year's race and that is my life message.  I have
been redeemed in so many aspects of my life and running.  It is only
fitting that the race is the day after Easter Sunday, which in my mind
celebrates the most historic redemption in history.

RBR, # 6: If you were talking to a group of high school track kids what would you tell them about our sport?

Ryan Hall: It's going to be a great ride.  It isn't going to be easy, but it will
be worth it.  You may not end up where you thought you would but it
will be worth it.  You may not find what you think you are looking for
but you will find what you need.  It will be the ride of your life.
Focus on enjoying everyday and prioritize relationships with people
above everything else because that is what truly lasts and what is
truly important.

RBR, # 6: Why do you run ?

Ryan Hall: Because I love it.  Because I encounter God when I run. Because I love to see just how amazing the human body is and what it is capable of achieving.  I don't believe I found my limits.  When I do, I will

RBR, #7: What shoes are you training in? Racing in?

Ryan Hall: I love the Gel Cumulus.  I recover really well when I do my easy runs in them.  For the marathon I love the ride that the Gel Hyperspeed
provides.  Such a great shoe!

RBR, # 8: What is key to racing well in Boston?

Ryan Hall: Preparation.  Spending months on end killing yourself on the hard days and taking it really chill on the easy days, coupled with good clean living.  Early to bed, early to rise, and lots of good high quality

RBR, # 9: Tell us about your present training environs?

Ryan Hall: I assume you mean where I have been training?  I trained both in Flagstaff, AZ and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia prior to Boston.  Both were
amazing places to train.  After training just outside of Addis (we
stayed in beautiful YaYa village at 9,000ft training back in Flagstaff
feels like sea level.  I can't wait to get to Boston.

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