Training Tactics From New York Marathon Winner Shalane Flanagan


This past Sunday, Shalane Flanagan dominated the New York marathon.  For the first time in 40 years, an American woman brought home the marathon.  And it’s not even like this thing was close.  She broke clear from the pack at mile 23 and finished the race in 2:26:53.

So, what are some key takeaways for the everyday runner?

Timing is Everything

Flanagan had plans of running the Boston Marathon in 2017, but an injury benched her.  With time to reflect, Flanagan came back stronger and more determined.  Americas’ running sweetheart made a goal to win a major U.S. marathon before her retirement.  Sounds like a SMART goal if I’ve ever heard of one…

Stick With a Balanced Diet

They say abs are made in the kitchen.  Well, so are good marathon times.  Flanagan makes sure all of her meals are balanced.  From an interview with Equinox:

A typical lunch or dinner has a lean protein like fish, turkey, chicken, eggs or bison with vegetables, fruit, nuts and a grain like quinoa or farro. My snack is typically a piece of fruit with a KIND bar because I am focused on recovery and keeping my energy levels high.

If you’re interested, Flanagan has a bestselling cookbook.  I just bought mine!

Have That Cup of Coffee

Caffeine has the seal of approval from several elite runners and Olympic athletes.  Shalane says she won’t even think of hitting the start line before she’s had a cup of coffee.  A dash of caffeine before a workout has proven to benefit many-a long distance workout.  It’s a mental jolt that boosts your mood and makes you want to run fast.

Stay Patient

More than anything, Flanagan wants girls everywhere to know this was seven years in the making.  She set a goal and stuck to it.  Stay persistent, and don’t doubt yourself for a moment.

In her own words:

I’ve been dreaming of a moment like this since I was a little girl.  It means a lot to me, to my family. Hopefully, it inspires the next generation of women to just be patient. It took me seven years to do this. A lot of work went into this one moment.


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