In April, Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years. Defeating a deep field stacked with international marathon winners, Meb held off Wilson Chebet of Kenya to finish with a new personal record of 2:08:37. Just two weeks shy of his 39th birthday, Meb has become an inspiration to runners of all ages. His reliance on cross-training to keep himself healthy has made him the perfect example of what integrated ElliptiGO training can do for a runner’s performance. With this win, Meb becomes the only person to ever win an Olympic medal (2004), the New York City Marathon (2009), and the Boston Marathon.
Q & A with Meb
1. How long have you been using an ElliptiGO for training and what model do you ride?
I’ve been incorporating the ElliptiGO into my training since 2012, so I have a couple of years of experience on it under my belt. I ride the 8C model, which is perfect for my training in the hills around San Diego.
2. With all the options available to you, why did you start using an ElliptiGO?
I’m a big proponent of cross-training and I had heard of other runners using the ElliptiGO, but I didn’t initially think it would be any better than regular cycling. Once I tried it, however, the advantages became obvious. Most significant for me is that it’s very similar to running, so I can really get my heart rate up during training without subjecting my body to the impact of running.
3. How did you come to be such a big believer in cross-training in the first place?
Cross-training has been a big part of my normal training regime throughout my career, but it was my experience at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials that really solidified my belief in the power and necessity of cross-training for runners. I had a deep cut in my foot that didn’t allow me to run for several weeks leading up to the race, so there was no way I could rely on running to prepare me for the Trials. Since I was in such great shape during the 2011 NYC Marathon, I believed I could rely on cross-training to maintain my fitness until the Trials. I was nervous because I really didn’t know what to expect when I got to the starting line that day, but in the end I won the marathon, set a new PR, and secured my place on the US Olympic team. That experience convinced me of the power of cross-training.
4. Everyone keeps talking about you winning the Boston Marathon at nearly 39 years old. Does age really make a big difference in your training?
I always say age is just a number, but I do find I have to modify my training now and that’s where ElliptiGO has been a great asset to me. I don’t just do a workout because that’s what I have planned for the day. I pay attention to how my body is feeling and sometimes if I don’t feel 100%, I have to make the decision whether to go for a run or an ElliptiGO ride. Since there’s no impact, it’s often a good idea for me to stick to the ElliptiGO. I don’t wait until I get injured to get on it. I use it for the extra mileage and integrate it into my training to prevent injuries in the first place.
5. You said that after winning Boston this year that your career was “110% fulfilled.” So what’s next for you?
I was so thrilled and honored to win the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day. I’m looking forward to a few more key races and particularly the NYC Marathon in November. Who knows – maybe another run at the Olympics in 2016.